On its current trajectory, 5G is set to become the fastest network technology ever adopted, according to a new report from Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson.
By the end of 2026, Ericsson expects at least 60% of the population to have 5G coverage, with 3.5 billion active subscriptions by then. Compared to the speed at which 4G has been adopted, the company believes 5G will hit the one billion subscription mark two years faster.
Consumers will play a major role in the adoption of the technology, as 5G-enabled smartphones become increasingly affordable and become available in wider markets.
5G is a much sought-after technology because it enables a smoother remote working experience, while facilitating better wireless communication and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).
However, not all regions can expect 5G penetration at the same rates. Europe is expected to lag behind markets in the United States, China, Korea, Japan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
By 2026, Ericsson expects Northeast Asia to have the largest share of 5G subscriptions, with around 1.4 billion subscribers. The North American and GCC markets are expected to have the highest penetration, accounting for 84% and 73% of all regional mobile subscriptions, respectively.
“Now is the time for advanced use cases to start to materialize and deliver on the promise of 5G. Businesses and corporations are also bracing for a post-pandemic world, with 5G-powered digitization playing a critical role, ”said Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks, Ericsson.