In a nutshell: 5G is the fastest growing mobile communications technology and is expected to accelerate in the coming years. In its June 2022 Mobility Report, Ericsson reported that 5G population coverage reached approximately 25 percent at the end of 2021. According to the telecommunications company, 5G managed to reach this milestone about 18 months faster than 4G networks when they first launched in 2009.

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This was partly due to the timely launch of supported devices from multiple vendors, the rapid price reduction of 5G-compatible devices compared to their early 4G counterparts, and the early rollout of 5G in China.

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Ericsson next reports that the number of 5G subscribers grew by 70 million during the first quarter of this year and reached 620 million worldwide. This figure is expected to exceed one billion by the end of 2022, with North America and Northeast Asia leading the way.

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Cellular networks of the fifth generation began to be deployed in 2019, and if not for the global pandemic and related conspiracy theories by linking them, the number of deployments and subsequent adoptions would likely be even higher.

By the end of 2027, Ericsson believes that 5G will account for 48 percent of all mobile subscribers with 4.4 billion and become the dominant mobile access technology in the world. North America is predicted to have the highest 5G penetration rate of 90 percent by this point.

For now, 4G networks still reign supreme. The number of 4G subscribers rose to around 4.9 billion during the last quarter and is expected to peak at around 5 billion before starting to decline to make way for 5G.

Image credit: Zz, Frederic Lipfert