Swedish mobile network telecom gear maker Ericsson sees 5G subscriptions growing by 50 per cent in 2024 to 1.5 billion, covering more than 40 per cent of the world's population.
North America and northeast Asia are expected to lead the 5G uptake, with major U.S service providers starting to offer 5G services this year or in 2019, while major network deployments globally are expected from 2020.
The first commercial 5G subscriptions in Europe are expected in 2019, Ericsson said in its semi-annual Mobility Report.
The mobile telecom network equipment industry is going through a tough period, as demand for 4G and older 2G and 3G network equipment subsides but solid demand for next-generation 5G networks remains a couple of years away.
Ericsson, which in today's report made its first forecast for 2024, sees a total of 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions at the end of 2024, up from 5 billion at the end of this year.
The new generation of mobile phone technology is expected to bring higher data speeds and better accommodate a greater variety of connected devices.