Ericsson’s new Mobility Report highlights continuing global 5G growth, with India apparently leading the way.
The June 2023 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report shows that, despite geopolitical challenges and macroeconomic slowdown in some markets, communications service providers worldwide are continuing to invest in 5G. It suggests that 5G mobile subscriptions are growing in every region and are forecast to top 1.5 billion globally by the end of 2023.
However, not too surprisingly, the report’s focus on India is gaining a lot of headlines in that country’s press. Following the launch of 5G services in October 2022, the Indian 5G market is witnessing huge network deployments under its Digital India initiative.
5G subscriptions in India reached about 10 million by end of 2022 and are estimated to account for about 57% of mobile subscriptions in the country by the end of 2028, making it the fastest-growing 5G region globally.
At present, says India’s Economic Times, operators Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are deploying 5G standalone (SA) and 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks respectively. Both service providers aim to complete roll-out by late 2023 or early 2024.
According to Ericsson, enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) are already emerging as the initial use cases for 5G in India.
Ericsson’s overall global 5G subscription forecast has been adjusted due to delayed spectrum auctions in several countries and continued difficult macroeconomic conditions. It has now projected global 5G subscriptions to reach 4.6 billion globally by the end of 2028, making up more than 50% of all mobile subscriptions.
Subscriptions for 4G have continued to increase, growing by 59 million during Q1 2023 to 5.2 billion, but are projected to start declining from this year as subscribers migrate to 5G.
Globally, around 240 communications service providers have launched commercial 5G services and about 35 have deployed or launched 5G standalone.
The most common 5G services launched by service providers for consumers, says the report, are enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), fixed wireless access (FWA), gaming and some AR/VR-based services, such as training and education.