A report from Juniper Research has forecast 1.4 billion 5G connections by 2025, an increase from just 1 million in 2019, the anticipated first year of commercial launch. This will represent an average annual growth of 232 per cent.
Juniper’s research warned that to be successful, 5G fixed wireless broadband would need to meet expectations in real-world scenarios to compete with fibre broadband.
The research forecasts that China will have the highest number of 5G connections by 2025, followed by the US and China, Together these 3 countries will have 55 per cent of all 5G connections by 2025. Additionally, it found that the US alone will account for over 30 per cent of global 5G IoT connections by 2025, with the highest number of 5G connections for fixed wireless broadband and automotive services.
In terms of commercial IOT revenues, Juniper forecast that the ARPC (average revenue per connection) would be disappointing, including Smart Cities and Digital Health. This was due to low data requirements and nominal duty-cycles. The research urged operators to develop new business models to minimise network operating costs, including software-based solutions to manage the diverse requirements of individual 5G IoT connections.
Furthermore, it advised that maximising connectivity revenues through 5G fixed wireless broadband would prove crucial to offset this disappointment, with ARPC forecast to remain above $50 until 2025.
“Operators and vendors must test their networks in a real-world environment at scale, ensuring speeds can compete with fibre services,” noted research author Sam Barker. “Networks that can deliver the highest speeds and greatest reliability will command the highest ARPCs, hastening an operators’ return on 5G investment”.