Ericsson's latest Mobility Report predicts that there will be 1.5 billion 5G subscriptions by the end of 2024.
The report predicts that 5G will reach more than 40% global population coverage by this time, making it the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out worldwide.
Northeast Asia and North America are expected to lead 5G uptake, with 5G expected to account for 43% all mobile subscriptions in North East Asia and 55% in North America by the end of 2024.
Meanwhile the report predicts that there will be 4.2 billion cellular IoT connections by this time, with Northeast Asia alone accounting for 2.7 billion of these. Growth in the segment is being driven by the uptake of NB-IoT and LTE Cat-M1 services.
During the third quarter, mobile data traffic grew nearly 79% year-on-year, with increased data tragic per smartphone in Northeast Asia – and China in particular – driving growth to the highest rate seen since 2013, the report adds.
With a traffic growth per smartphone of around 140% between end 2017 and end 2018, the Northeast Asia region has the world's second highest data traffic per smartphone at 7.3GB per month.
The arrival of 5G is expected to drive further data traffic growth. Ericsson predicts that total mobile data traffic will increase by a factor of five between 2018 and 2024, with 5G networks carrying 25% of mobile traffic by the end of this period.
“As 5G now hits the market, its coverage build-out and uptake in subscriptions are projected to be faster than for previous generations,” Ericsson EVP and head of networks Fredrik Jejdling said.
“At the same time, cellular IoT continues to grow strongly. What we are seeing is the start of fundamental changes that will impact not just the consumer market but many industries.”