STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson said on Monday it will lift its forecast for 5G subscriptions globally to around 2.8 billion by 2025 from 2.6 billion and 1.5 billion predicted previously, as a consequence of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The telecoms sector has been among few industries to experience a surge in demand despite the economic uncertainty linked to the pandemic, a result of more people work remotely from home to avoid contagion and adhere to lockdown rules.
Patrik Cerwall, head of strategic marketing at Ericsson, said that the 2020 forecast would also be raised, but gave no further detail. “Long-term we look at 2025, 2.8 billion 5G subscriptions”, he told a web seminar held by the company.
Ericsson is competing against Nokia and China’s Huawei Technologies to sign up telecoms customers looking to upgrade their networks to 5G.
The firm, due to publish its biannual Mobility Report next month, said in November 5G uptake was expected to be significantly faster than that of LTE, and that 5G subscriptions would account for 29% of all mobile subscriptions in 2025.
The new generation of mobile phone technology will bring faster data speeds and better accommodate a greater variety of connected devices.
(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Supantha Mukherjee; editing by Johannes Hellstrom and Niklas Pollard)