The second quarter of 2023 marked a milestone as 5G subscriptions worldwide soared to nearly 1.3 billion, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. This feat reflects the continuous growth and adoption of advanced mobile connectivity across the globe.
Here's a comprehensive breakdown of the key highlights from Ericsson's Mobility report:
Steady Expansion of Mobile Subscriptions
Ericsson highlighted that during Q2 2023, the global tally of mobile subscriptions reached 8.3 billion, highlighting the demand for mobile services. The period also saw the addition of 40 million new subscriptions, emphasizing the continued growth of the mobile industry.
India Leads in Net Subscriptions
India emerged as the frontrunner in net subscription additions, with an increase of 7 million new subscriptions during the quarter. China and the United States closely followed with 5 million and 3 million new subscriptions, respectively, reaffirming their positions as major players in the global mobile market.
Global Mobile Subscription Penetration
The report underscored the widespread penetration of mobile subscriptions worldwide, reaching 105 percent. This statistic reinforces the integral role mobile technology plays in the lives of people across the planet.
Mobile Broadband Dominance
A significant highlight of the quarter was the substantial growth in mobile broadband subscriptions, with 100 million additions. This pushed the total number of mobile broadband subscriptions to 7.4 billion, marking a 5 percent year-on-year increase. Furthermore, Ericsson said mobile broadband now constitutes 88 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
5G's Meteoric Rise Continues
The 5G showed no signs of slowing down as the report revealed a growth of 175 million 5G subscriptions during the quarter. This surge brings the global total to nearly 1.3 billion 5G subscriptions. Approximately 260 communication service providers have introduced commercial 5G services, and around 35 have rolled out or launched 5G standalone (SA) networks, setting the stage for the next level of mobile connectivity.
Enduring Strength of 4G
According to the report, while 5G took the spotlight, 4G subscriptions demonstrated their resilience by increasing by 11 million, reaching a total of approximately 5.2 billion. This still accounts for 62 percent of all mobile subscriptions, showcasing the continued demand for 4G services.
Decline in Legacy Technologies
In contrast to the positive trends seen in 5G and 4G, legacy technologies faced a decline. WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions saw an 85 million reduction, and GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions decreased by 59 million during the quarter. Other technologies also saw a decrease of around 2 million.
Unique Mobile Subscribers
The report identified a total of 6.1 billion unique mobile subscribers globally. The variation between subscriptions and subscribers can be attributed to factors such as inactive subscriptions, multiple device ownership, and tailored subscriptions for different types of calls.
Mobile Network Data Traffic Soars
Mobile network data traffic experienced a 33 percent growth between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023, reaching a massive 134 exabytes per month. The quarter-on-quarter growth from Q1 2023 to Q2 2023 was approximately 6 percent. Ericsson attributed this surge to the increasing adoption of smartphone subscriptions and the rising data volume per subscription, fueled by data-intensive services like video streaming.