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Mobile Momentum: 5G connections to surpass 1 billion in 2022, says GSMA

by Shah Farouq
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According to the GSMA, 5G connections will surpass 1 billion in 2022 and 2 billion by 2025. By the end of 2025, 5G will account for over a fifth of total mobile connections, and more than two in five people globally will live within reach of a 5G network, according to The Mobile Economy Report 2022 from the GSMA.

This unprecedented growth represents the fastest generational roll-out for the mobile industry compared to 3G and 4G. By comparison, 18 months after its launch, 5G accounted for more than 5.5% of mobile connections – neither 3G nor 4G exceeded 2.2% penetration in the same time.

There are nearly 200 live 5G networks in seventy countries, including 68 operators providing 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services and 23 delivering Stand Alone (SA) 5G services. All this supports consumer demand propelled by an ever-growing portfolio of 5G-enabled smartphones across various price points.

“5G accounts for a much larger share of global mobile connections than 3G or 4G did at the same point in their lifecycles. Momentum has been boosted by factors including innovative plans, video streaming services, rising 5G handset sales, and network coverage expansions,” said Chief Technology Officer, GSMA, Alex Sinclair.

“In addition, the launch of 5G services in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa over the last year means that the technology is now available in every region of the world, so we are set to see more growth and more transformation for services,” he added.

Early network capability initiatives are underway to support the increasing number of innovative consumer and enterprise use cases across the 5G Era. These include the 5G utilisation of multiple sub-3GHz spectrum bands, 5G mmWave, 5G Advanced, and Private Networks.

The GSMA 5G Transformation Hub goes live

GSMA launched this week, The GSMA 5G Transformation Hub designed to promote adoption and communicate the value 5G delivers for operators, businesses, and governments, and it already includes the following case studies:

  • Live Entertainment: Verizon is using 5G mmWave to deliver optimised fan experiences inside NFL stadiums across the US;
  • Infrastructure: Enabling 5G efficient drone inspection of bridges and major structures with Skydio;
  • Manufacturing: Making manufacturing more productive with intelligent 5G networked robotics with Thundercomm in China;
  • Transportation: South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) is entertaining commuters in Seoul with 4K TV on the move, delivered by 5G mmWave;
  • Construction: Supporting safe and efficient construction in Singapore with 5G from Singtel;
  • Smart cities: Motov’s use of 5G for monitoring the social costs of air pollution and traffic hazards;
  • Energy: Improving the performance of wind farm technology with 5G and Vayu AI.

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