1.5 bn 5G and 4.1 bn Cellular IoT subscriptions by 2024

In 2024, 5G will reach 40% population coverage and 1.5 billion subscriptions and Cellular IoT is set to pass 4.1 billion according to Ericsson Mobility Report
Pravin Prashant
On global level, major 5G deployments are anticipated from 2020 and by end of 2024, Ericsson Mobility Report projects 1.5 billion 5G subscribers for enhanced mobile broadband. This will account for close to 17 per cent of all mobile subscriptions which is expected to reach 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions (6.2 billion unique mobile subscribers) of which 8.4 billion will be mobile broadband subscriptions.
5G will take off in 2019 and 2020 will be the year in which 5G will enter mass market as at this point third-generation chipsets will be introduced in the market and due to this large number of devices will be available in the market. In India, 5G subscriptions is expected to become available in 2022.
At the end of 2018, there will be 5 billion smartphone subscriptions, 99 percent of which will be for 3G and 4G. The number of smartphone subscriptions is forecast to reach 7.2 billion in 2024, when practically all will be for mobile broadband.
There are strong indications that 5G indoor customer-provided equipment (CPE) and pocket routers for mid-band will be available by end of 2018. For 5G smartphones, a strong lineup is expected by Q2, 2019. The second-generation chipsets are expected by the end of 2019 which will enable more 5G capable devices with enhanced architectures and lower power consumption. Large scale deployments and the resulting high volume chipsets are expected to continue to reduce chipsets prices.
On the Cellular IoT front, North East Asia is anticipated to account for 2.7 billion followed by Western Europe.
IoT application market is widening, more advanced use cases are are emerging. Examples of such capabilities are support for optimized voice quality, more accurate device positioning and support for device mobility at high speed. Service providers have announced the deployment of 85 cellular IoT networks worldwide using Cat-M1 and/or NB-IoT.
In both Europe and Asia, deployments of Cat-M1 have commenced, while NB-IoT is now also being deployed in North America, in addition to the ongoing deployment of Cat-M1 technology. Both technologies are being deployed to complement each other across regions worldwide. Large-scale deployments, and the resulting high-volume chipsets, are expected to continue to reduce chipset prices. This is leading to further acceleration of the growth in cellular IoT connections.
IoT Connections (billion)
IoT – 2024 (bn) – CAGR (%)
Wide-area IoT – 4.5 – 27
Cellular IoT – 4.1 – 27
Short-range IoT – 17.8 – 15
Total – 22.3
Source: Ericsson Mobility Report November 2018
Video traffic in mobile networks is forecast to grow by around 35 per cent annually through 2024 to account for 74 per cent of all mobile data traffic. With global mobile data traffic forecast to increase more than 5 times between 2018 and 2024, key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity and decreased cost per byte. 5G subscription uptake is expected to be faster than for LTE, which in turn is the mobile communication technology with the fastest subscription uptake so far.

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