Ericsson report predicts sixfold increase in mobile data consumption and rapid adoption of 5G when it launches in 2020
Ericsson says there will be 150 million 5G subscriptions by 2021 – a year after most experts believe the first next generation networks will launch commercially.
According to the annual Ericsson Mobility Report, it will be China, Japan, South Korea and the US who will adopt 5G first and witness the fastest uptake.
5G is still being standardised and there is much debate about how the final specification will look like. There are a number of projects around the world working on candidate technologies and it is believed the standard could be finalised next year.
Read More: What is 5G and how is it different from 4G?
There is a general consensus that next generation networks will offer faster speeds, low latency, more efficient energy use and higher capacity – characteristics that can help support the expected growth in IoT applications.
Indeed, Ericsson says the ability for 5G to power the IoT will open up more industries to ‘digital transformation’.
“5G is about more than faster mobile services – it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things,” explained Rima Qureshi, chief strategy officer at Ericsson. “For example, Ericsson has built a prototype testbed for applying 5G networking functions and data analytics to public transport, which can save resources, reduce congestion, and lower environmental impact. ICT transformation will become even more common across industries as 5G moves from vision to reality in the coming years.”
Not that there isn’t life in 4G just yet. The report says demand for mobile video will boost average data consumption from 3.8GB to 22GB in the US and 2GB to 18GB in Western Europe by 2021. China will overtake the US as the world’s largest LTE market by the end of the year with 350 million subscriptions – a total which could rise to 1.2 billion by 2021.
Ericsson also believes that increased use of technology can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 gigatonnes – equivalent to the current carbon footprint of the US and EU combined – by 2030.
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