According to a mobile phone report, the number of 5G contracts is expected to exceed one billion by 2022. Western Europe should not lag far behind.
In the next five years, Western Europe will become the second most important region worldwide for the fifth mobile generation (5G). This is the result of the current Ericsson Mobility Report, which was published in Stockholm on Tuesday.
At the end of 2021, only six percent of mobile phone contracts in Western Europe were 5G-capable. This put the region well behind North America (20 percent), Northeast Asia (19 percent) and the Gulf Cooperation Council region (9 percent). By 2027, however, the field will be rearranged: Ericsson predicts that Western Europe will then be in second place worldwide with a 5G quota of 82 percent, just behind North America (90 percent).
The fifth generation of mobile communications (5G) offers significantly higher data transmission rates than previous standards such as UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G). In addition, the latencies are lower, which can open up fields of application such as remote control of machines or telemedicine applications. Private users, for example, benefit from less lag when gaming online.
The Ericsson Mobility Report shows that around a quarter of the world’s population currently has access to a 5G network. The study predicts that this value will triple in the next five years. And more and more people will actually use this network coverage, they say. 5G technology will account for almost half of all contracts by 2027, exceeding 4.4 billion in value.
150 million 5G contracts by the end of 2023
With the more widespread use of 5G, users could also use mobile networks more intensively. Global data traffic in mobile networks has doubled in the past two years. “This growth was driven by the increasing use of smartphones and mobile communications as well as the digitization of society and industry,” says the Ericsson Mobility Report.
In Western Europe, a large part of the data traffic is currently still in the LTE networks (4G) settled. Due to an ongoing switch from 2G and 3G to LTE, the number of 4G-compatible contracts rose again by 7 percent, accounting for around 80 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions at the end of 2021. Growth in 5G subscriptions in Western Europe also proved strong. Here, the figure rose from 5 million contracts in 2020 to 31 million by the end of 2021.
The number of 5G contracts will reach almost 150 million by the end of 2023. Many network operators have already phased out their 3G networks to allow spectrum reuse for 4G and 5G.