5G subscriptions to reach 550 million in SEA and Oceania by 2029

December 01, 2023 | 12:26
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5G subscriptions will reach around 550 million in Southeast Asia and Oceania by the end of 2029, according to the November 2023 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

Beyond creating the initial 5G infrastructure in the region, the focus of service providers is on diversifying their offerings for both consumers and enterprises. Enhancing the customer experience, expanding network coverage, and promoting the digital transformation for businesses remain top priorities across the region.

5G subscriptions to reach 550 million in SEA and Oceania by 2029

The report also states that mobile data traffic per smartphone continues to grow strongly in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and is expected to climb from 24GB per month in 2023 to around 66GB per month in 2029 – a compound annual growth rate of 19 per cent.

Head of Ericsson Vietnam Rita Mokbel stated, "At Ericsson, we have been leveraging our technological leadership to deliver a world-class consumer experience to the expansive 4G installed base in Vietnam – which can seamlessly be upgraded to 5G when required. 5G will provide the critical infrastructure that will accelerate the digital transformation of Vietnam."

"In the initial phase, 5G will enable service providers in Vietnam to provide an enhanced mobile broadband experience to consumers and improve the capacity of the networks to manage the growing data traffic. Over time, we expect new, innovative 5G use cases to emerge in business," Mokbel added.

Globally, Ericsson estimates that almost one in five of all global mobile subscriptions will be 5G enabled by the end of 2023, as the growth has proven resilient despite the continued economic challenges and geopolitical unrest in some markets.

The report adds that there will be 610 million new 5G subscriptions for the calendar year 2023, a 63 per cent increase over 2022 that will bring the global total to 1.6 billion – about 100 million more than previously predicted.

The latest 25th edition of the report has a new upper timeline for statistical forecasts, moving from 2028 to 2029. In line with recent editions, the November 2023 report confirms enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, gaming and AR/VR-based services as the most common early consumer use cases for 5G.

Regionally, the uptake of 5G subscriptions in North America continues to be strong. By the end of 2023, the region is expected to have the highest 5G subscription penetration globally at 61 per cent. 5G subscription growth has also been strong in India throughout 2023. By the end of the year – fourteen months after its commercial launch – 5G penetration is expected to have topped 11 per cent in the country.

In the six years between the end of 2023 and 2029, global 5G subscriptions are forecast to increase by more than 330 per cent – from 1.6 billion to 5.3 billion. 5G coverage is forecast to be available to more than 45 per cent of the global population by the end of 2023 and 85 per cent by the end of 2029.

North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council are expected to have the highest regional 5G penetration rates by the end of 2029 at 92 per cent. Western Europe is forecast to follow at 85 per cent penetration.

Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of Networks at Ericsson said, “With more than 600 million 5G subscriptions added globally this year, and rising in every region, it is evident that the demand for high-performance connectivity is strong. The roll-out of 5G continues, and we see an increasing number of 5G standalone networks being deployed, bringing opportunities to support new and more demanding applications for both individuals and enterprises.”

The global average data consumption per smartphone keeps growing. Total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow three-fold between the end of 2023 and the end of 2029, attributed to factors such as improved device capabilities, an increase in data-intensive content, and continued improvements in the performance of networks.

Peter Jonsson, executive editor of the Ericsson Mobility Report stated, “The rate of data growth in mobile networks clearly reflects consumers’ passion for enhanced mobile broadband-related applications. This trend will increase at pace as more consumers worldwide embrace 5G and new use cases emerge, triggering further growth in data traffic. As most traffic is generated indoors, where people typically spend most of their time, there is a growing need to extend 5G mid-band coverage both indoors and outdoors to ensure a comprehensive 5G experience in all locations.”

The 5G mid-band combines high capacity with good coverage, making it an ideal choice for delivering the full 5G experience. Global 5G mid-band population coverage is currently more than 40 per cent, an increase from 30 per cent in 2022. The rise was mainly driven by large mid-band deployments in India, but also several others in Europe.

The report also explores wireless connectivity for the manufacturing industry, how 5G is becoming a key determinant of production output, and how it enables the agility required to support rapid changes and the reallocation of resources.

The November 2023 Ericsson Mobility Report includes three in-depth articles, namely large-scale 5G SA deployment to drive the digital transformation in India, the demand for indoor connectivity driving the need for enhanced performance, and 5G-enabled agility in gigafactories and green steel plants.

The report has been the key industry reference source for network data, performance, statistics, and forecasts since its launch in 2011. It is based on the unique insights of Ericsson and its partners.

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