Mobile Devices

6 trends that will impact 5G’s next wave

26 October 2022
The next wave of 5G will include expansion in the amount of adoption in augmented and virtual reality as well as expanded use in the metaverse. Source: Ericsson

5G has been deployed in the real world for a few years now and as providers gear up for the next wave of availability — which will likely include the expansion of millimeter wave (mmWave) and networking slicing — Ericsson has identified six key trends that will impact the market.

In a new report, Ericsson said that about 30% of smartphone users intend to take up a 5G subscription within the next year. The report indicates how changes in technology will impact where 5G is likely to be adopted in the next five years.

“The scale of the research gives us an authentic insight into consumers’ views and attitudes to 5G,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of Ericsson ConsumerLab. “The report shows that the next wave of potential 5G users have different expectations from the technology compared to early adopters. Overall, consumers see engaging with 5G as an essential part of their future lifestyles.”

The six trends include:

  • 5G adoption — At least 510 million consumers across 37 markets will take up 5G in 2023.
  • New users — A whole next wave of 5G users will come on board that will be introduced to the higher performance, higher latency and higher bandwidth.
  • Growth in availability of 5G including indoor/outdoor coverage and hot-spot coverage.
  • 5G will enter augmented reality and enhanced video sectors in the next two years.
  • Monetization models will evolve with 5G offerings to move beyond more data volume and speeds to on-demand.
  • 5G will become a dominant part of the metaverse with users already spending one hour or more per week in metaverse-related services. Ericsson expects this to only grow with 1.5 hours being the average with AR/VR glasses by 2025.

The Ericsson report addresses how mainstream 5G adoption will have an impact on network traffic given about 1.7 billion consumers worldwide will likely be using smartphones, of which 430 million will be 5G subscribers in 2022.

“It is interesting to note that 5G is emerging as an important enabler for early adopters to embrace metaverse-related services, such as socializing, playing and buying digital items in interactive 3D virtual gaming platforms,” Sethi said. “The amount of time spent on augmented reality apps by 5G users has also doubled over the past two years.”

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