As the 5G era arrives, questions remain about how quickly the technology will be adopted by consumers. The GSMA has predicted that 5G will account for 15% of global mobile connections by 2025.
The research published at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona reveals that this year alone operators in 16 markets worldwide are expected to join South Korea and the US in launching 5G services.
As a result, the number of 5G connections is anticipated to reach 1.4 billion by 2025, representing 15% of all mobile connections excluding cellular IoT connections.
Adoption will be even higher in markets such as China, where it will account for around 30% of connections, as well as the US where 5G is expected to comprise half the total customer base by this time.
Meanwhile 5G is expected to add $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next 15 years, with the biggest beneficiaries including the manufacturing, utilities, and professional and financial services sectors.
But 4G is expected to continue showing growth in the near future, with the GSMA expecting the technology to grow to account for nearly 60% of global connections by 2025, up from 43% last year.
The report also estimates that there were 5.1 billion total unique mobile subscribers at the end of 2018, representing around two thirds of the global population.
By 2025, an additional 700 million new subscribers are forecast to be added, while over the same period, 1.4 billion more people are expected to start using the mobile internet, taking the total user base to 5 billion.
The GSMA also recently published research showing that operators in 50 countries have so far launched LPWA IoT networks in licensed spectrum, including LTE-M and NB-IoT networks.