5G scaling faster than any other G in SE Asia: Ericsson

5G Ericsson subscriptions
Image by ibkhan | Bigstockphoto

The latest Ericsson Mobility Report revealed that 5G subscriptions in Southeast Asia (SEA) and Oceania are expected to reach 570 million by the end of 2027 as more network deployments take place over the next few years. Globally, 5G mobile subscriptions are anticipated to surpass 1 billion and 4.4 billion by the end of 2022 and 2027, respectively.

5G is scaling faster than any previous mobile generation, with 5G subscriptions hitting over 15 million at the end of 2021 in SEA and Oceania. Continuous network modernisation and coverage build-out have led several hundred million people to become new mobile broadband subscribers.

Deployment of 5G standalone networks is also picking pace as communications service providers prepare innovation to address the business opportunities beyond enhanced mobile broadband. There are about 15 commercial 5G mobile networks in the SEA and Oceania region. Notably, the launch of Singapore’s first 5G Standalone (SA) network by Singtel in early last year.

Key highlights of the report include:

5G outpacing its predecessor in global mobile subscriptions

  • Global 5G subscriptions grew by 70 million during the first quarter of 2022 and is expected to surpass 1 billion by the end of this year. 5G will become the dominant mobile access technology by subscriptions in 2027. Ericsson forecasts 4.4 billion 5G subscriptions globally by the end of 2027, accounting for 48% of all mobile subscriptions.
  • 5G subscription uptake is faster than that of 4G, which reached 1 billion subscriptions two years sooner than 4G did. Key factors include the timely availability of devices from vendors, with prices falling faster than for 4G, as well as China’s large, early 5G deployments.
  • Meanwhile, subscriptions for 4G continue to increase, growing by 70 million during the first quarter of 2022 to around 4.9 billion. The technology is projected to peak at 5 billion this year, then decline to around 3.5 billion by the end of 2027 as subscribers migrate to 5G.

5G mobile subscriptions in SEA and Oceania expected to hit 570 million by end 2027

  • 5G subscriptions exceeded 15 million at the end of 2021 in SEA and Oceania and is expected to more than double during 2022.
  • As more network deployments take place over the next few years, 5G mobile subscriptions is expected to grow at a CAGR of 83%, reaching 570 million by end 2027. This figure will almost equal the total regional number of 4G subscriptions at that time.

Mobile data traffic per smartphone in SEA and Oceania to exceed global average; strong growth predicted for the India region as well

  • In SEA and Oceania, mobile data traffic per smartphone is expected to grow from 9.4GB per month to around 45GB per month in 2027 – recording the highest CAGR growth (30%) globally between 2021 and 2027. This is also 5GB higher than the estimated global average (40GB) in 2027.
  • Total mobile data traffic in SEA and Oceania is expected to grow by a factor of around six between 2021 and 2027, driven by continued strong growth in 4G subscriptions and increasing 5G subscription uptake in several markets.
  • Meanwhile, the India region has witnessed tremendous growth as well. The current average data traffic per smartphone in the India region is the second-highest globally (20GB) and is projected to surpass around 50GB per month in 2027 – a 16% CAGR between 2021 and 2027.
  • Wider 5G adoption and new extended reality services are expected to drive traffic growth in the latter part of the forecast period up to 2027.

5G offerings picking up speed across the globe

  • There is an increased effort across the industry to differentiate 5G subscription offerings to provide additional value compared to 4G. Cloud gaming services have been exclusively launched alongside 5G packages by around 35 service providers so far. About one in five service providers have taken this approach further and have created specific connectivity packages targeting gaming users.
  • Service-based options are also on the rise. During the early days of the pandemic, specific service-based connectivity packages, often labelled “work and education packs”, were offered in some markets. These packages typically offered discounted GB for a combination of video conferencing services, streaming, office software suites and web browsing. These packages have now become quite common, especially in markets with lower average income levels, including in SEA.

This edition of Ericsson Mobility Report includes four feature articles:

  • Unleashing the power of IoT connectivity
  • The evolution of MTN’s connectivity platform
  • Enabling demanding use cases with CSP edge computing
  • Securing 5G networks in an evolving threat landscape

Please view online for more information on the Ericsson Mobility Report 2022.

Related article: More than half a billion 5G subscribers by end of 2021: Ericsson Report

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