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Global wireless 5G connections will be 540 million by the end of the year after reaching 438 million by the third quarter, according to a 5G connections forecast from 5G Americas based on data from Omdia.

That data showed 72 million 5G connections were added worldwide between the second and third quarters of the year, with a total increase of 19.6% from 366 million to 438 million. If this pace continues, 5G will more than double the number of connections in 2020.

By the end of 2026, the organization expect worldwide connections to reach 4.8 billion, including 516 million in North America. North America had a total of 56.5 million 5G connections as of the end of the third quarter of 2021, representing an addition of 12.5 million 5G connections to the second quarter total – a gain of 28% over the second quarter. The continent also had 505 million LTE connections by the end of the third quarter.

The number of 5G commercial networks has reached 185, including 10 in North America, according to data from TeleGeography and 5G Americas. That number is expected to reach 220 by the end of 2021 and 329 by the end of 2023, representing strong 5G network investment growth, 5G Americas said in its press release about the 5G connections forecast.

“Despite challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic issues, 5G uptake continues at a fast pace as communications and connectivity have taken center stage,” said Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas, in a prepared statement.

5G is expected to be the dominant wireless technology by 2027, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report.

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