Mobile Devices

MWC: 5G connections to surpass 1 billion this year

04 March 2022

There will be more than 1 billion 5G connections in 2022 and this will double to 2 billion by 2025, according to new data from wireless trade organization GSMA.

By 2025, 5G will account for more than a fifth of all mobile connections with more than two in five people globally living within reach of a 5G network, GSMA said. Today there are 200 live 5G networks in 70 countries with 68 operators providing 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) services and 23 delivering standalone 5G services.

GSMA said this growth in 5G is the fastest generational rollout in the mobile industry compared to 3G and 4G. In 18 months, 5G accounted for more than 5.5% of mobile connections while 3G and 4G exceeded only 2.2% penetration in the same amount of time.

"5G accounts for a much larger share of global mobile connections than 3G or 4G did at the same point in their lifecycles,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO at GSMA. “Momentum has been boosted by factors including innovative plans, video streaming services, rising 5G handset sales and network coverage expansions.”

The deployment of 5G services in Latin America and Africa in 2021 means the technology is now available in every region of the world, Sinclair said.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC), which took place this week in Barcelona, Spain, GSMA launched its 5G Transformation Hub, a platform that will promote the adoption of 5G as well as communicate the values the technology brings to operators, businesses and governments.

The hub includes 5G use cases already established including:

  • Verizon’s deployment of 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) for NFL stadiums in the U.S.
  • Skydio’s drone inspection of bridges and major structures using 5G.
  • Connected 5G robots with Thundercomm in China.
  • 4K TV on the move for entertainment for Seoul, South Korea, commuters by the country’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT).
  • Singtel’s use of 5G for safety and efficiency in construction.
  • The use of 5G to monitor social costs of air pollution and traffic hazards by Motov.
  • Vayu AI’s use of 5G to improve the performance of wind farm technology.
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