June 20, 2017
North America will lead the world in the deployment of 5G with the largest share of subscriptions by 2025, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report. The OEM based its prediction on North America’s rapid migration to LTE from CDMA and WCDMA/HSPA-based networks.
“The [rapid deployment] trend is set to continue with 5G, as leading operators in the region have stated their intention to expand into pre-standardized 5G already in 2017,” Ericsson said. “As such, the region will have the highest share of 5G subscriptions in 2022 at 25 percent.”
5G Subs to Exceed 500 Million in 2022
The number of 5G subscriptions will exceed half a billion by the end of 2022, because of the large-scale trials and deployments of 5G scheduled in 2019, according to the June 2017 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. Behind all of that movement is the decision to accelerate the 5G New Radio (NR) standardization process by 3GPP.
In March 2017, 3GPP approved acceleration of the 5G NR standardization schedule by introducing an intermediate milestone for an early variant called Non-Standalone 5G NR.1, which enabled early 5G deployments and supported the requirements for enhanced mobile broadband services.
The Ericsson report also forecasts 5 billion LTE subscriptions by the end of 2022. Additionally, 9 billion mobile subscriptions are expected, as well as 8.3 billion mobile broadband subscriptions and 6.2 billion unique mobile subscribers. Ninety percent of smartphone subscriptions will for 3G and 4G.
“GSM/EDGE-only still constitutes the largest category of mobile subscriptions. However, LTE is anticipated to become the dominant mobile access technology in 2018,” according to the report. “By this time, the number of LTE subscriptions will be more than seven times the GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, while the corresponding number for WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions will be four times.”