Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has said that more than one billion people around the world will have 5G coverage by the end of this year. This, according to Ericsson, makes 5G the fastest deployed mobile network ever. According to Ericsson's biannual mobility report, 5G reached more customers this year than expected and will cover about 60 percent of the world population by 2026. "5G coverage will be built out to the extent that 1 billion people will live in 5G coverage areas by the end of 2020 worldwide," Patrick Cerwall, head of strategic marketing insights at Ericsson was quoted by CNet as saying in an interview.
By the end of this year, the report says that there will be 218 million 5G subscriptions around the world, up from Ericsson's forecast of 190 million back in June. By 2026, there will be about 3.5 billion 5G subscriptions and by 2025, there will be 2.8 billion subscriptions. Further, Ericsson said that more than 100 carriers around the world have switched on their 5G service. The report cites three main factors for the rapid growth of the 5G network. First, the availability of low-cost smartphones with 5G capabilities. With some 5G smartphones costing as little as $200 to $300, the availability of 5G-enabled devices is driving the growth of 5G. Second, many countries are choosing to make the availability of 5G infrastructure a strategic technology goal with government support. Third, the competition between telecom providers, who are eager to announced 5G support to attract buyers of the latest smartphones.
The Ericsson report also said that out of the nearly 200 million 5G connections this year, about 175 million will be in China. By the end of 2020, about 11 percent of all mobile subscriptions in China will be 5G. In NOrth America (US and Canada), only 14 million (about 4 percent) of the subscriptions will be 5G. Further, by 2026, about 80 percent of the network subscriptions in North America will by 5G and 66 percent in Northeast Asia, which includes China, South Korea, and Japan will be 5G connections, the Ericsson report said.