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More than 1 billion people will have 5G access by the end of 2020

(Image credit: / Who Is Danny)

Given the current rate at which 5G is being deployed and adopted by consumers, Ericsson expects 40 percent of mobile subscriptions to be 5G-ready within half a decade. In its latest Ericsson Mobility Report, the company claims 5G is the fastest-deploying mobile connectivity tech of any generation.

By the end of 2020, which is just a month away, 15 percent of the world's population (that's a billion people) will live in an area covered by 5G. In 2026, 60 percent of the world's population will live in such areas, which will bring the total number of subscriptions to 3.5 billion. Furthermore, Ericsson expects 220 million people to use 5G by the end of the year.

This adoption is driven mostly by China, where more than one in ten people (11 percent) use 5G already, thanks to multiple mobile device manufacturers offering relatively cheap 5G-enabled smartphones.

By the end of the year, four percent of North American mobile subscriptions will be 5G-ready, rising to 80 percent by 2026 – the highest of any region in the world. Europe will end the year with a modest one percent.

But the success of 5G won't rest only on the shoulders of consumers, the report further states. There will be many use cases, some of which haven't even been determined yet.

Critical IoT, where time-critical applications need data delivered within a specific timeframe, will be made possible thanks to 5G. The report also mentions cloud gaming as an emerging category, arguing that 5G will allow game streaming services to offer an experience that matches desktop PCs and consoles.

“This year has seen society take a big leap towards digitalization. The pandemic has highlighted the impact connectivity has on our lives and has acted as a catalyst for rapid change, which is also clearly visible in this latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report,“ said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson.

“5G is entering the next phase, when new devices and applications make the most out of the benefits it provides, while service providers continue to build out 5G. Mobile networks are a critical infrastructure for many aspects of everyday life and 5G will be key to future economic prosperity.”

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.