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Ericsson expects 1 billion 5G subscriptions by 2023

In its November Mobility Report, tech giant Ericsson has put out some global key figures on the state of mobility as you can see in the graph below. The most interesting one is the number of 5G subscriptions by 2023 to be about 1 billion including the regions US, South Korea, Japan and China. This growth will be facilitated by the increase in demand for HD content streaming, applications in IoT both in home and industry, and the increased demand for faster connectivity in general.

I have my reservations about Zambia making a mark in these numbers, with 4G still not available in many areas, nor people using $G devices to that extent. Why supply a market when the demand is not yet there? Or will the technology be advertised so hard that demand rises. Whatever ISPs do, we’ll be here to watch and blog the hell out of it.

Mobile subscriptions 2016 2017 2023 forecast CAGR** 2017-2023 Unit
Worldwide mobile subscriptions 7,510 7,790 9,120 3% million
> Smartphone subscriptions 3,840 4,410 7,270 9% million
> Mobile PC, tablet and mobile
router subscriptions
240 260 330 4% million
> Mobile broadband subscriptions 4,410 5,160 8,450 9% million
> Mobile subscriptions, GSM/EDGE-only 3,010 2,560 640 -21% million
> Mobile subscriptions, WCDMA/HSPA 2,260 2,380 1,970 -3% million
> Mobile subscriptions, LTE 1,900 2,620 5,470 13% million
> Mobile subscriptions, 5G 1,000 million
Mobile data traffic* 2016 2017 2023 forecast CAGR** 2017-2023 Unit
> Data traffic per smartphone 2.1 2.9 17 34% GB/month
> Data traffic per mobile PC 7.7 9.8 27 18% GB/month
> Data traffic per tablet 3.6 4.6 12 18% GB/month
Total data traffic*** 2016 2017 2023 forecast CAGR** 2017-2023 Unit
Total mobile data traffic 8.8 14 110 42% EB/month
> Smartphones 7.2 11 100 44% EB/month
> Mobile PCs and routers 1.3 1.6 4.5 19% EB/month
> Tablets 0.32 0.47 1.8 25% EB/month
Total fixed data traffic 70 80 250 20% EB/month

In sub-Saharan Africa the company predicts that mobile subscriptions will increase from 700 (in 2017) to 900 million connections in 2013, a 6% CAGR *. Specific to smartphones subscriptions, there may be an increment from 340 to 840 million in 2023.

As for data traffic on smartphones, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to average from 1.4 to 7.0 GB per month. Total mobile data traffic should rise from 0.1 to 4.6 EB per month, about 50% CAGR.

*The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is a useful measure of growth over multiple time periods. It can be thought of as the growth rate that gets you from the initial investment value to the ending investment value if you assume that the investment has been compounding over the time period.