India to reach 700 million 5G subscribers by 2028: Ericsson

India to reach 700 million 5G subscribers by 2028: Ericsson

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5G technology will represent 57% of total mobile subscriptions in India by 2028, Ericsson says

India is forecast to reach 700 million 5G subscribers by the end of 2028, as local carriers are carrying out an aggressive strategy in terms of 5G deployment, according to the latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility report.

The report showed that 5G technology will account for 57% of total mobile subscriptions in India by that year, adding that eMBB and FWA are already emerging as the initial use cases for 5G.

“Fast-growing network availability across cities, attractive 5G pricing and the growing availability of 5G smartphones has seen 5G subscriptions reach around 10 million by the end of 2022,” Ericsson said.

“Meanwhile, 4G continues to be the dominant subscription type driving connectivity and fueling data growth in the region. 4G subscriptions are forecast to decline from 820 million in 2022 to 500 million by 2028, it added. Ericsson said that the expected number of total mobile subscriptions in India is estimated to grow to 1.2 billion in 2028.

Average data traffic per smartphone in the India region is projected to grow from 26 GB per month in 2022 to around 62 GB per month in 2028, a CAGR of 16%. Meanwhile, total mobile data traffic is estimated to grow from 18 EB per month in 2022 to 58 EB per month in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 22%, according to the Ericsson report. The vendor explained that this forecast growth is chiefly driven by high growth in the number of smartphone users and increased average usage per smartphone.

Indian carriers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have already launched 5G in thousands of towns and cities across India.

Expansion of 5G In China

In its report, Ericsson also provided an update on the evolution of 5G in the Chinese market.

“2023 is the fourth year since the commercial launch of 5G. There were 2.64 million 5G sites in China by the end of the year’s first quarter, including mid-band Massive MIMO in 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz, FDD 700 MHz and 2.1 GHz for national coverage, and plenty of dedicated 5G indoor sites,” Ericsson said.

The report highlighted that around one-third of all mobile subscriptions are currently for 5G. Also, more than 200 million 5G smartphones had been delivered to the market in 2022, which accounted for 35% of all global shipments.

“The upgrade to StandAlone (SA) took place just one year after the 5G commercial launch. Now, all 5G sites and the majority of 5G smartphones have SA capability. Currently, more than 95% of 5G traffic is carried by 5G SA technology. Based on SA, new network capabilities have been commercially available for over a year, including network slicing for service separation and differentiated offerings, and Voice over New Radio (VoNR) for the evolution of voice. RedCap from 3GPP Release 17, which reduces cost, power consumption and network resource needs, is under field trials for cellular IoT solutions,” the report added.

Ericsson also noted that 5G technology is having a growing positive impact in a number of verticals markets. The vendor said that more than 14,000 virtual private networks using network slicing were in service by 2022, according to data from the Chinese government.


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