Data: 5G at 1.1bn connections
December 16, 2022
By Colin Mann
5G cellular technology continues its dominating advance, as global 5G wireless connections look to surpass 1.1 billion by the end of 2022. According to 5G Americas, the voice for 5G and LTE in the Americas, connections to 5G networks have on average doubled every year since its commercial inception in late 2018, reaching 922 million connections by the end of the third quarter of 2022, as indicated by data from Omdia.
”5G continues to make significant progress throughout the world,” notes Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “The foundation of this new era of innovation is spectrum, standards and a growing ecosystem of key technologies that are being adopted by operators, vendors and end users.”
With 75 countries reporting 5G connections, most recent data from Omdia suggests 433 million global 5G connections were added from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022, almost doubling connections from 489 million to 922 million. Overall, those figures represent 14.4 per cent sequential quarterly growth from 806 million in Q2 2022 to 921 million in Q3 2022. Global 5G connections are forecast to again accelerate in 2023, approaching 2 billion and reaching 5.9 billion by the end of 2027.
North America is a leader in the uptake of wireless 5G connections with a total of 108 million 5G and 506 million LTE connections by the end of Q3 2022. 5G penetration of the population in the North American market is approaching 30 per cent, as the region added 14 million 5G connections for the quarter – a gain of 15.47 per cent over Q2 2022. Overall, a total of 137 million 5G connections is projected to come from North America by the end of 2022, bolstered by strong 5G smartphone shipments in the US. IDC predicts the US 5G smartphone market will reach 118.1 million units shipped in 2022, showing a 27 per cent increase from 2021.
“There is still much more to come from 5G that will drive growth,” advises Kristin Paulin, Principal Analyst at Omdia. “Expanding mid-band coverage will bring a better 5G experience, balancing coverage and speed. And the standalone 5G deployments in progress will enable new applications that take 5G to the next level.”
In comparison, 4G LTE is expected to remain strong in Latin America and the Caribbean through the end of 2022. In Q3 2022, there were 530 million 4G LTE connections, representing 2.14 per cent quarterly growth with the addition of 11 million new LTE subscriptions. Latin America and the Caribbean is projected to have 22 million 5G connections by year end of 2022, and 399 million by 2027.
“With over half a billion connections, 4G LTE is the foundation of mobile wireless connectivity throughout the Latin America region,” says Jose Otero, Vice President of Caribbean and Latin America for 5G Americas. “Yet, as we look forward to the future, 5G will begin to play a bigger and bigger role for citizens in the region as deployments and connections increase significantly.”
Overall, the number of 5G commercial networks globally has reached 250, according to data from TeleGeography and 5G Americas. That number is expected to reach 253 by the end of 2022 and 397 by the end of 2025 representing strong 5G network investment growth in many regions throughout the world. The number of 5G and 4G LTE network deployments as of December 14th, 2022, are:
- Global: 250
- North America: 14
- Caribbean and Latin America: 28
- Global: 702
- North America: 17
- Caribbean and Latin America: 131