March 2, 2024

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Global 5G Subscriptions Surpass 600 Million in 2023, Driving Demand for Enhanced Connectivity

5G standalone brings new opportunities

In a recent Ericsson Mobility Report, it was revealed that the global uptake of 5G continues to soar, with approximately 600 million new subscriptions added in 2023. This impressive figure demonstrates the unwavering demand for high-performance connectivity despite ongoing economic challenges and geopolitical unrest in some markets.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson explained that “While the majority of networks deployed thus far are 5G non-standalone, an increasing number of communications service providers are now opting for the more advanced 5G standalone (SA) architecture.”

This shift offers greater possibilities to support new and more demanding use cases for both consumers and enterprises.

Only with standalone architecture can 5G use cases requiring time-bound latency, higher speeds, capacity, or benefits from network slicing be achieved. Currently, over 40 service providers have deployed or launched 5G SA in public networks.

However, the deployment of 5G is far from complete. The report suggests that further densification of 5G mid-band sites is necessary to provide users with the full 5G experience. By the end of 2023, it is estimated that 5G mid-band will be deployed in approximately 30 percent of existing 4G sites worldwide.

The Ericsson Mobility Report also delves into a large-scale deployment of mid-band 5G SA in India, where a service provider aims to capitalize on the new business opportunities presented by 5G for both consumers and enterprises. The report highlights the ongoing surge in data traffic as a strong driver of demand for mobile networks. Interestingly, most of this traffic is generated indoors, where people typically spend the majority of their time. Consequently, there is an increasing need to extend 5G mid-band coverage indoors to ensure a comprehensive 5G experience.

The report further explores how the demand for indoor connectivity is pushing for enhanced network performance. In industries such as manufacturing, wireless connectivity is now a crucial determinant of production-line output, as factory processes cannot tolerate intermittent network delays or areas with no coverage. The Ericsson Mobility Report delves into this topic by examining how 5G enables the agility required to support rapid changes and the reallocation of factory resources in modern gigafactories and green steel plants.

As the world continues to navigate the evolving landscape of 5G, the Ericsson Mobility Report aims to provide valuable insights into the industry’s progress. With the global subscription count surpassing 600 million and the increasing deployment of 5G SA, it is evident that the demand for enhanced connectivity remains robust, driving the need for continuous network improvement and expansion.

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