There will be 10 billion mobile connections worldwide by 2023, including 1.3 billion 5G connections, according to a global mobile forecast from Ovum cited by trade association 5G Americas.
“Growth of LTE is unabated, as LTE added 239 million connections worldwide in the third quarter of 2018,” said Ovum Senior Analyst Kristin Paulin in a press release. “Ovum forecasts that LTE will continue to grow well into 2022 and we will see a decline in subscriptions beginning around 2023 due to 5G growth. Regardless, GSM, HSPA and LTE will still be deployed worldwide in 2023.”
The firm said that North America will take the lead in 5G deployments, with the four leading carriers launching this year or next. Ovum predicts that there will be 336,000 5G connections in North America by the end of 2019, which will be 47% of the total 5G connections worldwide.
Global Mobile Forecast
“5G is in the initial stages of commercial deployment in the U.S. with big plans by all four national service providers,” Chris Pearson, the President of 5G Americas, said in the press release. “5G technology deployments represent a transformational time for innovation as our industry enables new applications and services.”
5G will be built on the foundation of existing LTE in North America, 5G Americas said. During the third quarter, LTE reached a penetration rate of 107% in the region — 390 million connections over a population of 365 million.
Ovum included other findings related to North America:
- 390 million LTE connections for a net gain of 51 million new LTE customers year-over-year
- LTE is forecast to peak at about 473 million connections at the end of 2020 (including M2M)
- 32 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 – 6 percent of all North American connections — growing to 186 million 5G connections in 2023 and 32 percent of all North American connections.
Global LTE connections reached 2.5 billion at the end of the third quarter of last year, according to 5G Americas. That total included 838 million new subscribers during the preceding year.