5G will reach half of the world's population by 2024

There are now 1 billion cellular IoT connections globally, and 5G operators are ramping up deployments, according to Ericsson.

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5G deployment and adoption is spreading more rapidly than expected, according to the June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, released Tuesday. By 2024, 45% of the world's population will have 5G coverage, the report found. This number could surge to 65% as spectrum sharing technology allows for 5G deployments on LTE frequency bands.

5G subscriptions are predicted to reach 1.9 billion by 2024—up from the 1.5 billion forecasted in 2018—as operators increase deployments and users switch to 5G devices, the report found. An extra 400 million enhanced mobile broadband subscriptions are expected globally by the end of that year as well.

SEE: 5G mobile networks: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

By 2024, 5G networks are expected to carry 35% of global mobile traffic, according to the report.

Smartphone manufacturers are increasingly releasing 5G-compatible phones, and communication service providers across several markets have switched on 5G in response. In some areas, service providers are setting ambitious goals, such as covering up to 90% of the population in the first year of deployment, the report found.

More than 10 million 5G subscriptions are projected to surface worldwide by the end of 2019, according to the report. 5G subscriptions are projected to launch the fastest in North America, followed by North East Asia and Europe.

Total mobile data traffic spiked in Q1 2019, up 82% year over year, the report found. There are also 1 billion cellular Internet of Things (IoT) device connections globally today, which is expected to rise to 4.1 billion by the end of 2024.

"5G is definitely taking off and at a rapid pace. This reflects the service providers' and consumers' enthusiasm for the technology. 5G will have positive impact on people's lives and businesses, realizing gains beyond the IoT and the Fourth Industrial Revolution," Fredrik Jejdling, executive vice president and head of networks at Ericsson, said in a press release. "However, the full benefits of 5G can only be reaped with the establishment of a solid ecosystem in which technology, regulatory, security, and industry partners all have a part to play."

For more, check out 5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet on TechRepublic.

Also see

5G Network Internet Mobile Wireless Business concept.5G standard of modern signal transmission technology.

Image: iStockphoto/LHG

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.