5G means ultra-fast internet on mobile phones that makes everything that has come before look outdated. The mobile communications standard is already widespread in the USA and Asia, but now there is also movement in the market in Western Europe. A new study from Sweden shows a boom.
Western Europe is rapidly catching up with North America and China when it comes to fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications. The number of 5G mobile subscriptions in Western Europe will almost double from 32 million at the end of 2021 to 63 million by the end of 2022, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report, published in Stockholm. For the coming year, the experts from Sweden are forecasting even faster growth in Western Europe: by the end of 2023 they are assuming almost 150 million 5G customers in this part of the world.
The fifth generation of mobile communications (5G) offers significantly higher data transmission rates than the previous UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G) standards. In addition, the delay time (latency) is lower, so that 5G can also be used for real-time applications such as controlling a machine remotely or telemedicine applications. 5G technology is also better suited than 3G or 4G for bringing masses online, such as the visitors in a football stadium. According to the Ericsson study, by the end of 2022, over one billion 5G mobile phone contracts will be signed worldwide.
With the high growth rates in Western Europe, the international ranking is also shifting. So far, the North America region has been ahead. More than a third (35 percent) of all mobile phone customers there already have a 5G-compatible mobile phone contract. This is followed by Northeast Asia (34 percent) and the Gulf Cooperation Council region (20 percent). Western Europe has only achieved eleven percent so far. For the period up to the end of 2028, Ericsson experts predict that North America (91 percent) and Western Europe (88 percent) and the Gulf States (86 percent) will be neck and neck. This is to be followed by Northeast Asia (74 percent). The number of global 5G contracts will increase to five billion by the end of 2028.
According to the study, the 5G boom is not only being driven by 5G smartphones, but also by the broadband connection of private households and offices using mobile communications technology - i.e. as an alternative to the fixed network connection. Experts then speak of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). FWA is one of the highlighted trends. "The use of technology is growing faster than expected and is expected to connect over 300 million households worldwide by 2028." 5G will then be used as the transmission technology for 80 percent of these connections. Around 100 million users in households or offices are currently online with FWA technology using various mobile phone standards.