Global 5G connections reached 1.76 billion in 2023

Tuesday, 14 May, 2024

Global 5G connections reached 1.76 billion in 2023

Global adoption of 5G accelerated dramatically in 2023, adding 700 million connections to reach a total of 1.76 billion, as reported by 5G Americas (based on data from Omdia).

North America emerged as a trailblazer in 5G adoption, with 5G comprising 29% of all North American connections by the end of 2023. The region experienced a 64% year-over-year growth in 5G connections, adding 77 million new connections to its network. By the end of 2023, North American 5G connections totalled 197 million.

Latin America witnessed substantial progress in both 4G LTE and 5G connections, with LTE connections reaching 582 million by the close of 2023, adding 40 million new connections year over year. The region also established 39 million 5G connections by year-end, setting the stage for further expansion in the years to come.

“4G LTE is still the strongest technology across the region,” said Jose Otero, Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas, “although various factors, including 5G handset mass market availability and completion of spectrum auctions will see an increase in 5G coverage and subscriber growth in the coming year.”

Looking ahead, Omdia forecasts paint a picture of the telecommunications landscape we can expect to see throughout this decade. Global 5G connections are projected to skyrocket to 7.9 billion by 2028, with North America forecasted to boast 700 million 5G connections by the same year.

“With this forecast, 5G will reach the global milestone of accounting for more than half of all connections by 2028,” said Omdia Principal Analyst Kristin Paulin. “For North America, as an early leader, 5G will be more than 80% of connections.”

Additionally, 5G data traffic is expected to be 76% of all technology data traffic as it reaches 2.6 billion TB (or 2600 EB), with all technology data traffic reaching 3.4 billion TB (or 3400 EB) by 2028, reflecting the exponential growth trajectory of 5G connectivity.

Globally, the number of deployed 5G networks shows strength compared to 4G LTE deployments, and in the case of North America almost matches 4G LTE networks deployed. Currently, there are 314 commercial 5G networks worldwide, and this number is anticipated to grow to 450 by 2025, reflecting significant investments in 5G infrastructure worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem remains a vital component of the digital revolution. Currently, global IoT subscriptions stand at 3.1 billion, complemented by 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions. Forecasts suggest that IoT subscriptions will reach 4.5 billion, while smartphone subscriptions will surge to 7.4 billion by 2026, highlighting the evolving nature of connectivity and the interconnectedness of our digital world.

“The wireless telecommunications industry stands at the cusp of a new era, driven by innovation, collaboration and a shared vision for a connected future,” said Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “With Fixed Wireless Access continuing to drive consumer broadband demand, new technology milestones are advancing unparalleled connectivity experiences worldwide.”

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