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50% subscriptions in India to be 5G by 2028: Ericsson Mobility report

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Rapid deployment by Indian telecom firms will enable subscriptions to reach around 31 million by end of 2022, and 690 million by 2028, according to the November Mobility report.


The report said average data traffic per smartphone remains the highest in India globally. “It is projected to grow from 25 GB per month in 2022 to around 54 GB per month in 2028 – a CAGR of 14 percent,” said the report, which was released on Wednesday.


The total traffic in the India region is estimated to grow from 18 exabyte (EB) per month in 2022 to 53 EB per month in 2028, growing at a compounded annual rate of 19 per cent.


This is driven by high growth in the number of smartphone users and an increase in average usage per smartphone. The smartphone subscriptions in India as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions are expected to grow from 77 per cent in 2022 to 94 per cent in 2028.


Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) are expected to be the early use-cases for in India, it added.


Global growth continues


Gobal 5G mobile subscriptions are likely to hit 5 billion around the same time, accounting for 55 per cent of all subscriptions.


At the same time, 5G population coverage is projected to reach 85 per cent, while 5G networks are expected to carry around 70 per cent of mobile traffic and account for all contemporary traffic growth, the report said.


North America and Northeast Asia continue to see strong 5G growth, with 5G subscription penetration in the regions expected to reach about 35 per cent by the end of 2022.


Globally, almost 230 communications service providers (CSPs) have launched 5G services to date, with more than 700 5G smartphone models announced or launched commercially, the report pointed out.


It also forecasts global fixed wireless access (FWA) connections to grow faster than previously expected.


FWA – the wireless alternative to wireline broadband connectivity for homes and businesses – is one of the major early 5G use cases, particularly in regions with unserved or underserved broadband markets.


Driven in part by accelerated FWA plans in India, and expected growth in other emerging markets, FWA is forecast to grow at 19 per cent year-on-year through 2022-28, and top 300 million connections by the end of 2028.


More than three-quarters of CSPs surveyed in more than 100 countries currently offer FWA services.


“Almost one-third of CSPs are offering FWA over 5G, compared to one-fifth a year ago. Almost 40 per cent of the new 5G FWA launches in the past 12 months have been in emerging markets,” it said.


“Communications service providers continue to deploy 5G and the momentum for fixed wireless access is accelerating. Moreover, global mobile network data traffic is practically doubling every two years,” Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice-president and head of networks, Ericsson, said.


4G remains strong


Global 4G subscription numbers also continue to rise, growing by about 41 million between July and September 2022. It is expected to reach a peak of about 5.2 billion around the end of this year.


In India, 4G subscriptions are expected to peak in 2024 at around 930 million and will thereafter decline to an estimated 570 million by the year 2028.


The report said overall mobile subscriptions are expected to top 8.4 billion by the end of 2022, and 9.2 billion by the end of 2028.


At the end of 2022, 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions are estimated to be present across the word, accounting for about 79 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions.

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