Industry Updates

'SAMENA Daily' - News

Global 5G connections surge to 1.76 billion

The wireless telecommunications industry witnessed a year of unprecedented growth and innovation, propelled by the unstoppable momentum of 5G technology. In 2023, adoption of 5G connections accelerated, reaching 1.76 billion globally by adding 700 million, according to 5G Americas, the voice of 5G and beyond in the Americas, and data from Omdia.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, said, “The wireless telecommunications industry stands at the cusp of a new era, driven by innovation, collaboration, and a shared vision for a connected future. With Fixed Wireless Access continuing to drive consumer broadband demand, new technology milestones are advancing unparalleled connectivity experiences worldwide.”

North America emerged as a trailblazer in 5G adoption, with connections in the region comprising 29% of all North American connections by the end of 2023. Notably, the region experienced a staggering 64% year-over-year growth in 5G connections, adding 77 million new connections to its network. By the end of 2023, North American 5G connections totaled 197 million.

Latin America also witnessed substantial progress in both 4G LTE and 5G connections, with LTE connections reaching 582 million by the close of 2023, adding 40 million new connections year over year. Moreover, the region embraced the 5G revolution, with 39 million 5G connections established by year-end, setting the stage for further expansion in the years to come.

“4G LTE is still the strongest technology across the region,” said Jose Otero, Vice President of Latin America, and the Caribbean for 5G Americas. “Although various factors, including 5G handset mass market availability and completion of spectrum auctions will see an increase in 5G coverage, and subscriber growth in the coming year.”

Looking ahead, Omdia forecasts paint a picture of the telecommunications landscape we can expect to see throughout this decade. Global 5G connections are projected to skyrocket to 7.9 billion by 2028, with North America forecasted to boast an impressive 700 million 5G connections by the same year.

Omdia principal analyst Kristin Paulin points out, “With this forecast, 5G will reach the global milestone of accounting for more than half of all connections by 2028. For North America, as an early leader, 5G will be more than 80% of connections.”

Additionally, 5G data traffic is expected to be 76% of all technology data traffic as it reaches a staggering 2.6 billion TB (or 2600 EB), with all technology data traffic reaching 3.4 billion TB (or 3400 EB) by 2028, reflecting the exponential growth trajectory of 5G connectivity.

While 5G technology continues to dominate headlines, the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem remains a vital component of the digital revolution. Currently, global IoT subscriptions stand at 3.1 billion, complemented by 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions. Forecasts suggest that IoT subscriptions will reach 4.5 billion, while smartphone subscriptions will surge to 7.4 billion by 2026, highlighting the evolving nature of connectivity and the interconnectedness of our digital world.

Globally, the number of deployed 5G networks shows strength compared to 4G LTE deployments, and in the case of North America almost matches 4G LTE networks deployed. Currently, there are 314 commercial 5G networks worldwide, and this number is anticipated to grow to 450 by 2025, reflecting significant investments in 5G infrastructure worldwide.