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Data: 5G connections near 2bn

July 3, 2024

The wireless telecommunications industry experienced another quarter of strong expansion and technological advancement, driven by the relentless advance of 5G technology, according to data from trade body 5G Americas and analyst firm Omdia. In the first quarter of 2024, the global adoption of 5G connections continued its steady climb, reaching nearly two billion with an addition of 185 million new connections.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, stated: “The wireless technology sector continues to demonstrate its strength and significance through rapid adoption and sustained robust growth globally. North America remains at the forefront of 5G implementation.”

North America leads the charge in 5G adoption, with 5G connections in the region comprising 32 per cent of all wireless cellular connections. Notably, the region experienced healthy growth in the first quarter, adding 22 million new connections to operator networks. In the first quarter of 2024, North American 5G connections totaled 220 million.

Last quarter, Latin America also witnessed solid growth in4G LTE and 5G connections, adding eight million new LTE connections for a total of 591 million across the region. Additionally, the region continues to embrace the 5G revolution with nine million new 5G connections added to reach a total of 48 million 5G connections. 4G LTE subscriptions continue to remain strong throughout the region, even as the availability of 5G handsets and spectrum continue to grow.

“5G keeps accelerating as the increasing number of operators offering the technology continue to expand the population coverage of their networks in urban and suburban areas. While 4G continue its expanding presence in rural and remote areas helping governments fulfill their national connectivity goals,” said Jose Otero, Vice President of Latin America and the Caribbean for 5G Americas,

Looking ahead, Omdia forecasts paint a picture of the telecommunications landscape we can expect to see throughout this decade. Global 5G connections are projected to reach 7.7 billion by 2028, with North America forecast to boast an impressive 700 million 5G connections by the same year.

According to Omdia principal analyst Kristin Paulin, North America is swiftly moving to a region of essentially only LTE and 5G, with most operators having closed their legacy networks already. “On top of that, vast 5G coverage and devices at a range of price points helps drive 5G adoption. IoT is also expected to have more of a role in driving 5G adoption later in the forecast,” she added.

The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem will continue to remain a fundamental component of the digital revolution. Currently, global IoT subscriptions stand at 3.3 billion, complemented by 6.7 billion smartphone subscriptions. Forecasts suggest that IoT subscriptions will reach 5 billion, while smartphone subscriptions will surge to 8 billion by 2028, highlighting the evolving nature of connectivity and the interconnectedness of our digital world.

Globally, the number of deployed 5G networks have exceeded the pace of 4G LTE network deployments at the equivalent time in the technology cycle. There are nearly as many 5G North American deployments as 4G LTE networks. Currently, there are 316 commercial 5G networks worldwide, a number that is expected to grow alongside continued significant investments in 5G infrastructure worldwide.  The number of 5G and 4G LTE network deployments as of June 17th 2024, are:


Global: 316

North America: 17

Latin America and Caribbean: 40


Global: 712

North America: 18

Latin America and Caribbean: 134




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