Data: 5G to surpass 4G LTE
September 29, 2023
5G isn’t just the fastest-growing generation of wireless cellular technology, it’s on course to become the most widely-adopted, exceeding 4G LTE by over 2.5 billion connections in 2028, according to trade body 5G Americas, and data from Omdia.
The last six months has seen the addition of 331 million new 5G connections, pushing the global total to 1.4 billion. This surge in adoption and network deployments sets the stage for further acceleration, with projections indicating an imminent approach to the 2 billion mark by the end of 2023. By 2028, Omdia’s latest forecast anticipates 8 billion 5G connections, surpassing the first-decade growth of LTE by over 2.5 billion connections.
“The phenomenal global growth of 5G connections underscores the insatiable demand for advanced connectivity,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas. “With 1.4 billion connections and counting, we are witnessing the transformative power of 5G technology as the industry focuses on integrating 5G connectivity into new devices and services in this era of innovation.”
North America continues to lead in the 5G race. By the close of Q2 2023, the region boasted 151 million 5G connections and 496 million LTE connections. The 5G penetration rate in North America has reached an exceptional 40 per cent, with a growth rate of 25.5 per cent in the first half of 2023. Projections indicate that North America’s 5G connections will reach 669 million by 2028.
Kristin Paulin, Principal Analyst at Omdia said, “5G standalone is being deployed by North American operators, and it will bring advancements like network slicing, ultra reliable, low-latency communications and massive machine type communications, which will propel growth with this technology generation further.”
In Latin America and the Caribbean, the growth of 4G LTE networks remains robust, with a quarterly growth rate of 1.9 per cent, equivalent to 10.6 million new LTE connections in Q2 2023. LTE connections now total 565 million for the region. Furthermore, the region is set to triple its 5G connections by the end of 2023, reaching a total of 62 million. The Latin America region continues to expand 5G network coverage and deployments, with projections indicating a significant increase to a total of 501 million 5G connections by 2028.
“4G LTE and 5G are at different stages of their technological deployment and market cycles in Latin America” noted Jose Otero, Vice President of Caribbean and Latin America for 5G Americas. “Both are very important for the region’s current and future connectivity needs. Although 4G is pervasive throughout the area, the new mobile generation is gaining traction in countries that have assigned spectrum for the buildout of 5G networks. Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico are experiencing accelerated 5G adoption, with countries like the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Peru, and Uruguay also expanding the technology’s population coverage.”
Global 5G Network Expansion: The global 5G network landscape is undergoing substantial expansion. Currently, there are 287 commercial 5G networks worldwide, and this number is anticipated to grow to 425 by 2025. This reflects significant investments in 5G infrastructure worldwide. The number of 5G and 4G LTE network deployments as of September 15th, 2023 are:
North America: 17
Latin America and Caribbean: 29
North America: 17
Latin America and Caribbean: 31