Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) today launched the Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2019 edition in India. According to the Report, India region* has the highest average usage per smartphone, reaching 9.8 gigabytes (GB) per month at the end of 2018. Increased numbers of LTE subscriptions, attractive data plans being offered by service providers, and young people’s changing video viewing habits have driven monthly usage growth.
The report also predicts that the total mobile data traffic per month in India is expected to increase at a CAGR of 23 percent from 4.6 exabytes (EB) in 2018 to 16 EB by 2024. The total smartphone subscriptions in the region will reach 1.1 billion by 2024 growing at 11 percent CAGR, whereas the total mobile broadband subscriptions in India are expected to grow at CAGR of 13 percent from about 610 million in 2018 to 1.25 billion in 2024. Mobile broadband technologies now make up more than 50 percent of subscriptions.
As the evolution towards more advanced technologies continues in India, LTE is forecast to represent 82 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2024 compared to 38 percent in 2018. The LTE subscriptions in India are expected to grow at a CAGR of 17 percent from 450 million in 2018 to 1.16 Billion in 2024. Video will continue to drive data usage and we see monthly data usage per smartphone increasing from 9.8 GB in 2018 to 18 GB by 2024 growing at 11 percent CAGR.
Mobile video traffic is fueling the total data traffic as users are spending more time streaming and sharing video. This is expected to continue, as video is embedded in all types of online content. In addition, surveys of smartphone users worldwide indicate that they expect 5G to bring the network performance needed for immersive media formats and applications. Streaming 360-degree video and augmented/virtual reality should start to be a significant factor in mobile traffic growth while enhancing user experience as 5G is rolled out, and compatible devices are successively introduced.
Nitin Bansal, Head of Ericsson India and Head of Network Solutions, South East Asia, Oceania and India says, “LTE will remain the most dominant access technology in the region up to 2024 even as 5G subscriptions are expected to grow during this period. Based on the latest Consumer Lab study done by Ericsson, we have found that Indian smartphone users are willing to pay more than 66 percent premium for 5G services. In fact, more than half of smartphone users in India expect their own provider to switch to 5G or will wait a maximum of six months before moving to another provider that does.”
The Ericsson 5G Consumer Potential study also reveals that one in five smartphone users’ data usage could reach more than 145 GB per month on a 5G device by 2025.
Globally, 5G uptake will be faster than expected
The June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions – up from 1.5 billion forecasted in the November 2018 edition – an increase of almost 27 percent.
Other forecasts have also increased notably as a result of the rapid 5G uptake. 5G coverage is forecast to reach 45 percent of the world’s population by end of 2024. This could surge to 65 percent, as spectrum sharing technology enables 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.
Communication service providers in several markets have switched on 5G following the launch of 5G-compatible smartphones. Service providers in some markets are also setting more ambitious targets for population coverage of up to 90 percent within the first year.
The strong commitment of chipset and device vendors is also key to the acceleration of 5G adoption. Smartphones for all main spectrum bands are slated to hit the market over the course of this year. As 5G devices increasingly become available and more 5G networks go live, over 10 million 5G subscriptions are projected worldwide by the end of 2019.
The uptake of 5G subscriptions is expected to be fastest in North America, with 63 percent of anticipated mobile subscriptions in the region being for 5G in 2024. North East Asia follows in second place (47 percent), and Europe in third (40 percent).
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the service providers’ and consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology. 5G will have positive impact on people’s lives and businesses, realizing gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play.”
Total mobile data traffic continued to soar globally in Q1 2019, up 82 percent year-on-year. It is predicted to reach 131EB per month by the end of 2024, at which time 35 percent is projected to be over 5G networks. There are 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, a figure that is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024, of which 45 percent are represented by Massive IoT. Industries using Massive IoT include utilities with smart metering, healthcare in the form of medical wearables, and transport with tracking sensors.
With 5G deployments rapidly gathering momentum globally, Ericsson continues to lead the way with its service-provider-focused 5G platform through the launch of new software and hardware solutions to expand 5G deployment options. The new solutions extend network capacity and coverage, enabling smooth network evolution, and facilitating new consumer and industry use cases.
While already supporting frontrunner service providers through the rollout of commercial 5G using non-standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR), Ericsson has now introduced standalone NR software. In addition to extending deployment possibilities, 5G standalone NR software makes for a new network architecture, delivering key benefits such as ultra-low latency and even better coverage.
Ericsson is also evolving its cloud solution with an offering optimized for edge computing to meet user demand. This will enable service providers to offer new consumer and enterprise 5G services such as augmented reality and content distribution at low cost, low latency, and high accuracy.
The new standalone 5G NR software can be installed on existing Ericsson Radio System hardware. Coupled with Ericsson’s 5G dual-mode Cloud Core solutions, the new products are aimed at opening new business opportunities for service providers – especially having established an architecture that facilitates agility, provides advanced support for network slicing and enables the speedy creation of new services.