5G mobile subscriptions to rise to 5.5 billion in 2027

5G mobile subscriptions is expected to rise from 1.7 billion at the end of 2022 to 5.5 billion in 2027 occupying a total share of 48%, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

GlobalData’s 5G - Thematic Report reveals 5G penetration will rise from 53% at the end of 2022 to 162% in the US by 2027.

In Europe, it will rise from 15% to 88%; in China, from 86% to 154%; and in India, from 1% to 40% over the five-year period, according to GlobalData’s forecast.

“5G has not yet taken off as many network operators had hoped, and the technology still needs a strong, mass-market business-to-consumer (B2C) use case beyond fixed wireless access (FWA). Given how difficult they have found it to command a premium rate for B2C 5G services, wireless operators’ quest for propulsive consumer 5G use cases will continue. Cloud gaming, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) are among the areas likely to be mined for opportunities,” comments GlobalData principal analyst thematic intelligence Laura Petrone.

However, there are signs that enterprises are more willing to consider 5G as a primary access service.

5G is not yet widely available in its standalone (SA) form, which offers its full capabilities (not only higher speed but also low latency and high device densities for the Internet of Things), in most markets.

Wherever it is available, there are clear signs that enterprises are warming to it.

“Enterprises will increasingly look at wireless connectivity for branch offices in the more fluid hybrid work environment. Private 5G, in particular, is positioned as a complement to in-building Wi-Fi networks that, along with edge computing, will enable real-time applications such as AR, VR, video analytics, and autonomous vehicles and robots,” Petrone said.

Macroeconomic trends in 2023 like inflation and resource shortages will likely impact 5G adoption.

Service providers are gripped by combined pressures of increased wages and costs, particularly energy costs, and of delivering next-generation fixed and wireless access services, including full-fibre and 5G.

On the other hand, hardware shortages, particularly chips, risk slowing 5G handset shipments and, ultimately, the pace at which consumers acquire 5G handsets.

“The US and some other countries have banned the sale and import of telecom equipment from Huawei and ZTE amid concerns over national security. Next-generation telecom standards, including 5G and 6G, will play an increasingly dominant role in the ongoing battle for tech supremacy being waged between the US and China,” Petrone concluded.

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