By Juan Pedro Tomás
The number of 5G subscribers at a global level is expected to reach 1.3 billion by the end of 2022, up from over 500 million at the end of last year, 5G Americas reported, citing data from Omdia.
Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas said: “We are now out of the opening stages of this generation of wireless cellular technology, as 5G is rapidly getting into the hands of consumers and businesses, who are finding innovative new ways to use mobile connectivity.”
According to the most recent data from Omdia, the world added 303 million 5G connections year over year, representing a 139 per cent increase from 218 million to 521 million, and sequentially 19 per cent growth quarter over quarter from 437 million in Q3 2021 to 521 million in Q4 2021.
According to Omdia’s forecast, 5G connections will reach 2 billion by the end of 2023, and 4.8 billion by the end of 2026.
By region, North America had a total of 72 million 5G connections by the end of 2021, which is an addition of 54 million 5G connections for the year. Additionally, the region had 514 million LTE connections by the end 2021.
“During 2021 5G coverage really expanded, making 5G an option for a lot more people. The major operators in the US have more than 70 per cent coverage. In Canada, 5G really expanded for the three major operators during 2021, with each ending the year with 70 per cent coverage. This is compared to between 24 per cent and 45 per cent coverage, depending on the operator, at the same time last year,” said Omdia principal analyst Kristin Paulin.
Although 301 million 5G connections are expected for Latin America in the Caribbean by 2026, 4G LTE remains the dominant wireless cellular technology in the region today with 495 million connections, 5G Americas said. Omdia expects 4G LTE growth will remain strong in Latin America and the Caribbean through 2022 with the addition of 43.2 million new 4G LTE connections, as 5G adoption begins to overtake 4G LTE.
“5G deployments continue to make progress in Latin America as new spectrum is allocated by regulators. The new generation of mobile communications offers many technological features that will be welcomed by citizens of the region as 5G coverage increases. Overall, 4G LTE is providing excellent mobile broadband during the difficult time of the pandemic that has emphasized the importance of reliable communications services,” said VP of Caribbean and Latin America at 5G Americas, Jose Otero.
Globally, the number of 5G commercial networks has reached 216, according to data from 5G Americas. That number is expected to reach 330 by the end of 2022 and 352 by the end of 2024.