5G subscriptions would be over 350 million by 2026: Ericsson report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 30, 2020 Published on November 30, 2020

India would have more than 350 million 5G subscriptions by 2026, with the first connection expected to be provided next year, according to a study by Swedish telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson.

By the end of 2026, 5G will represent about 27 per cent of mobile subscriptions in India. The 5G business potential revenues for Indian telecom operators would be at $17 billion by 2030, with the manufacturing sector ($3.74 billion), energy and utilities sector ($2.57 billion) and agriculture sector ($1.5 billion) being the biggest contributors, the report said.

”5G has the potential to transform industries and society at large – with use cases such as smart manufacturing, smart cities and advanced healthcare applications, just to mention a few. As the technology proliferates, early movers stand to benefit by gaining the right experience and creating new use cases of relevance to their business,” Ericsson India Managing Director Nitin Bansal said.

“India would get the first 5G connection next year, depending on the spectrum auction,” he added.

However, Long-Term Evolution (LTE or 4G) will continue to be the dominant technology in India in 2026, accounting for 63 per cent of mobile subscription, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.

Spectrum auction

India is expected to auction spectrum, which were conducted every year from 2012 to 2016 (with no spectrum sale in the last four years), next year.

All the Indian operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm, are expected to bid for the spectrum in the auctions.

According to the report, globally, more than 1 billion people – 15 per cent of the world’s population – will live in areas with 5G coverage by end of 2020. In 2026, 60 per cent of the world’s population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion.

Mobile broadband technologies accounted for 67 per cent of mobile subscriptions in India this year, and is predicted to reach 91 per cent by 2026, when the total number of mobile broadband subscriptions is set to reach close to 1.2 billion, it said.

“Low prices for mobile broadband services, affordable smartphones and increased time spent by people online all contribute to monthly usage growth in India. Accordingly, total traffic is projected to quadruple in India, reaching 35 EB (exabyte) per month in 2026,” Patrik Cerwall, Head of Strategic Marketing Insights and Editor of Ericsson Mobility Report, said.

The average traffic per smartphone user rose to 15.7GB per month in 2020 from 13.5 GB per month in 2019, while the average traffic per smartphone is expected to further increase to around 37 GB per month by 2026.

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Published on November 30, 2020
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