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2018 To Witness The First Commercial Launch of 5G, Major Deployment Follows –Report

Ericsson’s latest edition of  Mobility Report states that new massive IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 are fuelling this growth,  giving service providers opportunities to improve efficiencies and enhance customer value.


Driven by large-scale deployments in China, cellular IoT connections have nearly doubled since November 2017. It is further forecasted to reach an estimated 3.5 billion in 2023.

Ericsson’s latest edition of  Mobility Report states that new massive IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 are fuelling this growth,  giving service providers opportunities to improve efficiencies and enhance customer value.

Globally, major 5G deployments are expected from 2020. Ericsson forecasts over 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2023, accounting for around 12 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

India Market – Mobile Data Traffic in India to Grow 5 Times by 2023

  • The report forecasts 5 billion IoT cellular connections by 2023, of which, 72 million estimated in India.
  • The report forecasts that India will have 780 million VoLTE subscriptions by 2023.
  • The total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to grow 5 times during the forecast period from 1.9 EB to 10 EB by 2023.
  • The report estimates that the monthly data usage per smartphone (GB/month) in India will increase from 5.7 GB in 2017 to 13.7 GB by 2023.
  • The total smartphone subscriptions in the country will grow 2.5 times to cross 975 million by 2023.

India also saw the second highest number of net mobile subscription additions by country in Q1, 2018, with the addition of 16 million mobile subscriptions. The first quarter of 2018 saw the addition of 98 million new subscriptions, with China(+16 million), India, Indonesia (+6 million), Nigeria(+3 million) and Bangladesh (+2 million)leading the pack, notes the report.

“We expect LTE to be the most dominant technology in India by 2023” said Nitin Bansal, Head of Network Solutions for the Market Area South east Asia, Oceania and India for Ericsson.” LTE will account for more than 78 percent of the total subscriptions in the country by 2023 compared to the 20 percent LTE subscriptions in 2017. We also see IoT picking up in a big way with cellular IoT connections in India to reach 72 million by 2023 growing at a CAGR of 25 percent.”

The latest Ericsson Report also confirms that first commercial launch of 5G will be this year. In where North America is expected to lead the 5G uptake with all major U.S. operators planning to roll out 5G between late 2018 and mid-2019.

In North America, these cases are centered on logistics and fleet management while in China it is smart cities and smart agriculture.

By end of 2023, close to 50 percent of all mobile subscriptions in North America is forecast to be for 5G, followed by North East Asia at 34 percent, and Western Europe at 21 percent.

Mobile data traffic is estimated to surge by eight times during the forecast period to reach close to 107 exabytes (EB) per month – a figure that is equal to every mobile subscriber worldwide streaming full HD video for 10 hours.

By 2023, more than 20 percent of mobile data traffic worldwide is expected to be carried by 5G networks. This is 1.5 times more than the total 4G/3G/2G traffic today.

Like previous mobile access technologies, 5G is expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas with enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access as the first commercial use cases. Other use cases will come from industries such as automotive, manufacturing, utilities, and healthcare.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, says: “2018 is the year 5G networks go commercial as well as for large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. These technologies promise new capabilities that will impact people’s lives and transform industries. This change will only come about through the combined efforts of industry players and regulators aligning on spectrum, standards and technology.”

First-generation, 5G data-only devices are expected from the second half of 2018. The first commercial smartphones supporting 5G in the mid-bands are expected early next year, while support for very high spectrum bands is expected in early to mid-2019.

The Ericsson Mobility Report also features articles on network performance through the eyes of customers, smart manufacturing, machine intelligence in network management, and the importance of securing the right spectrum for 5G.

Read the full Ericsson Mobility Report


Niloy Banerjee

A generic movie-buff, passionate and professional with print journalism, serving editorial verticals on Technical and B2B segments, crude rover and writer on business happenings, spare time playing physical and digital forms of games; a love with philosophy is perennial as trying to archive pebbles from the ocean of literature. Lastly, a connoisseur in making and eating palatable cuisines.

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