Ericsson, the Swedish telecoms network equipment maker predicts that by the end of 2025 superfast 5G will cover up to 65 per cent of global population. In a recently published report, the company which is one of the suppliers of 5G infrastructure said 5G networks will be handling as much as 45 per cent of mobile data traffic within six years. The company has also predicted that by the mid 2020s there will be 2.6 billion 5G mobile contracts globally.
Data consumption will increase
Ericsson expects that consumers will increase their average monthly consumption of mobile data to 24 GB from 7.2 GB. At the end of last year China flipped the switch on its 5G networks ahead of schedule. The countries major telecoms companies are all offering 5G mobile plans and development of 6G networks in China has already begun. Ericsson estimates that more than 13 million consumers in the country signed up to 5G by the end of 2019.
Limited roll out in the US
In the United States telcos have begun limited roll out of 5G networks in select cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis. In the UK telcos are trialing 5G technology in several towns and cities as well as Gatwick airport in London. Ericsson reckons the most rapid adoption of 5G over the coming few years will be in North America where it expects 74 per cent of mobile contracts will be 5G by 2025 and in Europe 55 per cent.
A spokesperson for Ericsson said that by 2020 5G devices will become a volume business and will scale 5G adoption as a result. He added the question is not one of if but how quickly use cases can be converted into relevant applications for consumers and enterprises. 5G networks which offer super-fast speed have been hyped as being able to revolutionise the digital economy facilitating new technologies such as driverless cars as well as the internet of things. However, there are a lot of politics at play for the providers of the technology.
Chinese network equipment manufacturer Huawei for example has been blacklisted by the United States, preventing it from trading with American companies without first obtaining special licenses from the government. The US has cited national security as the reason behind its decision and its pressuring allies to bar Huawei from bidding for construction of their 5G networks. The US claims there is a risk of being susceptible to espionage.
Contracts have been signed
Huawei has denied those claims but a few states such as Australia and New Zealand have barred Huawei from selling its equipment for their 5G networks. Despite pressure from the Americans, Huawei last year said it had already entered into more than 60 commercial 5G contracts with what it says are leading global carriers. Ericcson is not doing badly either having signed 76 commercial 5G contracts and Nokia says it has signed 50.