The rollout of 5G is seeing an increasing adoption of the technology across the globe as it provides for stable and fast connectivity like never seen before.
In Africa Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Madagascar, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Zimbabwe, and Zambia have embraced 5G through launching services which make it accessible for internet users.
Telecommunications company Orange, first launched its 5G services in Botswana in November 2022 – with plans to extend its coverage to other African and Middle Eastern Markets. Other telco companies like Safaricom, Vodacom, Telkom and MTN have also made 5G services available in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Nigeria. 5G is scaling quickly both in Africa and the rest of the world.
Experts believe that 5G promises to benefit Africa in promoting digital inclusion and bolster socio-economic growth.
According to data presented by Omdia, global subscriptions are expected to hit a massive 1.9 billion by the end of the year and is set to triple to 5.9 billion by 2027.
The Number of 5G Subscriptions Surged 158 Times in Four Years
One of the reasons why 5G has become the fastest-scaling mobile connectivity generation is because it provides higher download speeds and lower latency than older 4G networks. The timely availability of devices from multiple vendors and China’s large early 5G deployments have also played a massive role in the market`s growth.
According to the 5G Americas data, there were 12 million active 5G subscriptions worldwide in 2019. This figure jumped to 217 million a year later, showing an eighteen-fold increase amid the first year of the COVID-19 crisis.
The number of 5G subscriptions continued surging in 2021 and hit 597 million worldwide. This figure practically doubled last year, with the total 5G subscriptions reaching 1.05 billion. Statistics show global 5G subscriptions are expected to hit 1.9 billion by the end of 2023, or 158 times more than in 2019, and then jump by another 210% to 5.9 billion in the next four years.
5G Subscriptions Grow, but Regional Distribution is Still Very Uneven
The latest Ericsson Mobility survey showed that although 5G subscriptions continue surging, there are still substantial regional differences. According to Ericsson, China had 664 million 5G subscriptions last year, or 61% of the world`s total, slightly down from 66% a year before. This figure is projected to jump to a massive 1.4 billion in the next five years, growing by a CAGR of 14% between 2022 and 2028. The entire North East Asia will count 1.7 billion subscriptions that year.
North America and Western Europe are far below these figures. Last year, there were 141 million 5G subscriptions in North America, or 13% of the world`s total. This figure is expected to triple and hit 420 million by 2028, still four times less than in China.
Although far below China and North America, Western Europe will see the highest average annual growth of 41% between 2022 and 2028, with the number of 5G subscriptions jumping from 63 million to 490 million.