The mobile data traffic has increased 300 times since 2011, reveals the tenth edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. Due to the demand in China and North America and the decreasing price of 5G devices, the report anticipates 600 million 5G subscriptions by the end of this year.
While the world added 48 million new 4G subscriptions since 2011, there is a net addition of 98 million 5G subscriptions. The 5G subscription is expected to cover more than two billion people. 5G will soon become the dominant mobile access technology by 2027, covering 75% of the global population and 62% of the worldwide smartphone traffic. It will account for 50% of all mobile subscriptions worldwide.
The deployment of 4G LTE networks since 2011 has resulted in generating 5.5 billion new smartphone connections. 5G handsets today account for 23% of global volume. Mobile network traffic has increased 42% year-on-year in Q3 2021, accounting for 78 exabytes (EB), including traffic generated by Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services. The total mobile network data traffic is likely to reach 370EB by the end of 2027.
Broadband IoT has surpassed 2G/3G, and it connects the largest share of IoT applications worldwide. It is expected to account for 47% of all cellular IoT connections by the end of 2021. There will be massive deployments of broadband IoT in the coming years, especially in the areas of e-health, wearables, logistical asset tracking, environmental monitoring and smart meters, and smart manufacturing tracking and monitoring devices. IoT deployments are expected to account for 51% of all cellular IoT connections by 2027.
5G Trends in India
5G will represent 39% of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2027. The country will witness around 500 million subscriptions. The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to be 810 million at the end of 2021. Smartphone subscriptions are likely to increase at a CAGR of 7$, reaching over 1.2 billion by 2027. Smartphone subscriptions accounted for 70% of total mobile subscriptions in 2021, which may increase to 94% in 2027.
4G will remain the dominant technology in India in 2027, dropping from 790 million in 2021 to 710 million in 2027. As more subscribers migrate to 5G, 4G subscriptions are expected to reduce from 68% of mobile subscriptions in 2021 to 55% in 2027.
The pandemic-induced work from home has contributed to the average traffic per smartphone increasing to 18.4GB per month in 2021, up from 16.1GB per month in 2020. The average traffic per smartphone in the India region is the second-highest globally.
Total mobile data traffic in India has increased from 9.4EB per month in 2020 to 12EB per month in 2021. This will further increase by 4X times to reach 49EB per month in 2027.