On its current trajectory, 5G is set to become the fastest adopted network technology ever, according to a new report from Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson.
By the end of 2026, Ericsson expects at least 60 percent of the population to benefit from 5G coverage, with 3.5 billion active subscriptions by that time. Compared to the speed at which 4G was adopted, the company believes 5G will achieve the one billion subscriptions milestone two years faster.
Consumers will play a major role in the adoption of the technology, as 5G-enabled smartphones are growing more affordable and becoming available in wider markets.
5G is a highly sought-after technology as it enables a more seamless remote working experience, as well as facilitating better wireless communication and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).
However, not all regions can expect the penetration of 5G at the same rates. Europe is expected to lag behind the US, China, Korea, Japan, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets.
By 2026, Ericsson expects North-East Asia to have the largest share of 5G subscriptions, at roughly 1.4 billion subscribers. North American and GCC markets are expected to have the highest penetration, comprising 84 and 73 percent of all regional mobile subscriptions respectively.
“Now is the time for advanced use cases to start materializing and deliver on the promise of 5G. Businesses and societies are also preparing for a post-pandemic world, with 5G-powered digitalization playing a critical role,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.