The fifth generation of broadband cellular network technology, 5G, will cover more than 20 per cent of the global population six years from now, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. Ericsson forecasts there will be 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by 2023. Expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas, 5G will cover over 20 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2023.
Early 5G deployments are foreseen in several markets, including the US, South Korea, Japan, and China. In India, 5G network is expected to be deployed in two years from now, that is 2020. The 5G technology aims to deliver about 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) in urban areas and 1 Gbps in rural regions. By comparison, the record speed for 4G is just around 1 Gbps—that, too, in a lab trial. In the field, Reliance Jio has the fastest 4G network at only 18 mbps.
According to the report, mobile data traffic is expected to surge by eight times during the forecast period, reaching 110 Exabytes (EB) per month by 2023. This corresponds to 5.5 million years of HD video streaming.
The total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to grow 11 times by 2023 from 1.3 EB to 14 EB . The report estimates that the monthly data usage per smartphone (GB/month) in India will increase 5 times from 3.9 GB in 2017 to 18 GB by 2023. The total mobile subscriptions in the country as per the report stood at 1.185 billion in Q3 2017.
Video consumption is continuing to fuel mobile broadband traffic growth. The driving force behind video’s uptrend are the young millennials – those in the 15 to 24 age bracket – who stream 2.5X more than those over 45 years of age.
LTE will be the most dominant technology in India by 2023. LTE will account for more than 60 per cent of the total subscriptions in the country by 2023 compared to the 12 per cent LTE subscriptions in 2017. The report estimates that there will be around 800 million VoLTE subscribers in India by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 42.5 per cent between 2017 and 2023.