5G uptake progresses across the globe, report claims
The state of the fifth generation of wireless (5G) subscriber adoption has tightened up significantly, as global wireless 5G connections for Q1 2021 have been adjusted to 298 million, according to 5G Americas, a wireless industry trade association.
Last quarter, 5G Americas reported that data provided by Omdia indicated the world had reached 401 million 5G connections at the end of the year 2020. That number was subsequently revised downwards by Omdia due to specific improved clarity from one large country in the Asia—Pacific region.
Revised data provided by Omdia indicated the world added 79 million 5G connections between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, as wireless subscribers continued to adopt 5G at two and a half times the rate of subscriber growth as 4G LTE. With global pandemic impacts levelling out as vaccinations increase and work and commuting patterns normalise, 5G remains on pace in 2021 to nearly triple the number of connections it added in 2020, reaching 633 million globally by the end of the year.
Additionally, nine 5G networks went live globally in Q1 2021, bringing the global total up to 172 networks, according to data from TeleGeography. That number is expected to reach 273 by the end of 2021 and 313 by 2023.
Forward projections for 5G and 4G LTE from Omdia remain healthy, with estimates of global 5G connections reaching 4.6 billion in 2026.