5G will account for a quarter of total mobile connections by 2025, says a new GSMA report.
This is more than three times 2021 levels, and will coincide with a slight decline in the percentage of 4G connections to 55 percent.
‘The Mobile Economy 2022’ report, by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) explores the habits and figures of mobile technology use across the world.
Greater China led the world in 2021, with 5G connections making up 29 percent of its tech mix. But by 2025, ‘Developed Asia Pacific’ – Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea – is expected to lead the way with a 5G adoption of 64 percent, closely followed by North America with 63 percent and Greater China at 52 percent.
Data usage, too, will leap ahead. In 2021, the global average data traffic per smartphone was 11.4 GB per month. In 2027 it will hit 41 GB. In Southeast Asia and Oceania, the leap is even higher, from 8 GB per month in 2021 to 46 GB per month in 2027.
Mobile operators will invest US$620 billion in their networks between 2022 and 2025, of which 85 percent will be on 5G.
5G is expected to benefit the global economy by more than US$960 billion. Utilities management, construction, oil and gas and agriculture are set to contribute eight percent of this figure.
There will be 23.3 billion total Internet of Things connections by 2025, up from 15.1 billion last year.
“As the world emerges from the pandemic and social and economic activities begin to recover,” says the report, “connectivity will continue to play a vital role in the way people live and businesses operate.
“Indeed, digital services, underpinned by high speed and high performance networks, are set to become more integral to society in a post-pandemic world.”
The report also mentions the industry is setting the roadmap for 6G, “already preparing for what comes next given the typical 10-year technology cycle.” Plans underway already include Orange’s holoportation (the ability to reconstruct, compress and transmit three dimensional twins of people anywhere in the world) and digital twin technology and North America’s Next G Alliance, which is preparing work groups on the 6G roadmap and ‘Green G’ focus on energy efficiency.