Communications technology provider Ericsson projects that 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021 and cross 3.5 billion by 2026.
Northeast Asia is expected to account for the largest share of 5G subscriptions by 2026 with an estimated 1.4 billion 5G subscriptions.
North American and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets are forecast to account for the highest 5G subscription penetration with 5G mobile subscriptions comprising 84% and 73% of all regional mobile subscriptions, Ericsson said.
However, the pace of adoption varies widely by region. Europe is off to a slower start and has continued to fall far behind China, the US, Korea, Japan and the GCC markets in the pace of 5G deployments, Ericsson's biannual mobility report said.
5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone.
Key factors behind that include China's earlier commitment to 5G and the earlier availability and increasing affordability of commercial 5G devices. More than 300 5G smartphone models have already been announced or launched commercially, Ericsson said.
"We are in the next phase of 5G, with accelerating rollouts and coverage expansion in pioneer markets such as China, the US and South Korea. Now is the time for advanced use cases to start materialising and deliver on the promise of 5G. Businesses and societies are also preparing for a post-pandemic world, with 5G-powered digitalisation playing a critical role," Ericsson's head of networks Fredrik Jejdling said.
"Going beyond the existing technologies that have played a key role in Bangladesh's digital development, 5G can address the rapid data growth and reduce cost per GB. It can further stimulate the digital economy in Bangladesh through innovation-driven platforms," Abdus Salam, head of Ericsson Bangladesh, said.