Cisco predicts 5G will support 10% of global mobile connections by 2023

5G adoption will continue to accelerate over the next three years, as will broadband speeds and the number of Wi-Fi 6 hotspots.

The world continues to become more connected and the new Cisco Annual Internet Report gives insights into the trends we can expect over the next five years. Mobile connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, fixed broadband networking and 5G are highlighted in the report.

The advent of global 5G means that there will be a solid infrastructure in place for artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, including autonomous cars, smart cities, connected health and immersive video.

According to the report, more than 70% of people worldwide (5.7 billion) will have mobile connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G) by 2023. Global average broadband speeds, which reached 45.9 Mbps in 2018, will rise to 110 Mbps in 2023. There will be nearly 10 devices/connections per household in 2023, almost half video capable, with about 14.7 billion machine-to-machine (M2M) connections supporting IoT apps. 
 
The report presents technology and business insights for organizations from all industries for applications, security, infrastructure and workforce

SEE: 5G: What it means for IoT (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

It covers results for global, Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, North America and Western Europe. 
 
The report's global projections covered predictions for six areas: mobile and internet users, devices and connections, mobile, Wi-Fi, network performance, as well as a look back at cybersecurity trends from 2018 to 2019. In the span of just three years, Cisco predicts many changes in these areas, critical to both consumers and clients. For example, the report predicts that  55% of networked devices will be connected to mobile networks , and global 5G connections will go from 0% in 2018 to 10.6% in 2023.

Predictions for the US and all things internet related

Population in the US will increase from 327.1 million in 2018 to a predicted 336.7 million in 2023, and many of these people will fully embrace technology . In the US, 90% of the population (294.7 million) used the internet in 2018 and that figure will rise to 92% (309.6 million) by 2023, with 89% mobile users (299 million), up from 87% in 2018 (285.3 million). 

The rise of 5G and connectivity in US mobile network

By 2023, 25% of all network devices will be mobile-connected and 75% will be wired or connected over Wi-Fi, and there will be 204.6 million total 5G connections by 2023. While 0% in 2018, 17.6% of total mobile connections will be 5G in 2023. 

US: more devices, networks, connections and 4K TVs 

  • 4.6 billion networked devices by 2023, up from 2.7 billion in 2018
  • 13.6 networked devices per capita by 2023, up from 8.4 per capita in 2018
  • 1.2 billion mobile connected devices by 2023, up from 559.7 million in 2018
  • 3.4 mobile connected devices per capita by 2023, up from 1.7 per capita in 2018
  • 3.4 billion wired/Wi-Fi connected devices by 2023, up from 2.2 billion in 2018 
  • M2M modules will account for 63% (2.9 billion) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 46% (1.2 billion) in 2018
  • 4K TVs will account for 77% (151.7 million) of all flat panel TVs by 2023, compared to 41.3% (55.7 million) in 2018
  • 31% of all networked devices will be in business segment by 2023 compared to 29% in 2018

Once dominant US devices on the decline

  • Smartphones will account for 7% (327.4 million) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 10% (267.1 million) in 2018
  • Connected TVs will account for 13% (592.4 million) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 21% (572.5 million) in 2018
  • PCs and Tablets combined will account for 9% (428.7 million) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 17% (461.6 million) in 2018
  • 69% of all networked devices will be in the consumer segment by 2023 compared to 71% in 2018
  • 4G connections will be 44.7% of total mobile connections by 2023, compared to 69.5% in 2018
  • 3G and below connections will be 0.8% of total mobile connections by 2023, compared to 19.2% in 2018

Social networking and e-commerce rise in the US

Mobile applications in the US will rise from 9.8 billion in 2018 to 11.9 billion in 2023. Also rising will be other category mobile applications (including business), up to 4.6 billion from 2.5 billion in 2018. 
 
Social networking, messaging, media, productivity, and e-commerce mobile applications downloaded are predicted to plateau, with the 4.7 billion figure for 2023, the same as it was in 2018. Gaming mobile applications will be slightly down, at 2.6 billion in 2023 from 2.7 billion in 2018.

Global insights, rise of networked devices

Networked device use will rise: 29.3 billion networked devices by 2023, up from 18.4 billion in 2018, and  16.2 billion wired/Wi-Fi connected devices by 2023, up from 9.6 billion in 2018. Mobile connected devices will also gain popularity: 13.1 billion mobile connected devices by 2023, up from 8.8 billion in 2018.

Also globally, M2M modules will account for 50% (14.7 billion) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 33% (6.1 billion) in 2018.

Globally: mobile apps, gaming, and 4K TVs are up

  • 4K TVs will account for 66% (890.6 million) of all flat panel TVs by 2023, compared to 33.3% (268.1 million) in 2018
  • 299.1 billion mobile applications downloaded by 2023, up from 194.0 billion mobile applications in 2018
  • 117.3 billion social networking, messaging, media, productivity and e-commerce mobile applications downloaded by 2023, up from 89.3 billion mobile applications in 2018
  • 65.6 billion gaming mobile applications downloaded by 2023, up from 56.4 billion mobile applications in 2018
  • 116.1 billion other category (including business) mobile applications downloaded by 2023, up from 48.3 billion mobile applications in 2018

Globally, smartphone, PC, lose popularity

  • Smartphones will account for 23% (6.7 billion) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 27% (4.9 billion) in 2018
  • PCs and Tablets combined will account for 7% (2.1 billion) of all networked devices by 2023, compared to 12% (2.2 billion) in 2018

Also see

  • 5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
  • 5G mobile networks: An insider's guide (TechRepublic download)
  • Special report: How 5G will transform business (TechRepublic Premium)
  • What is 5G? Everything you need to know about the new wireless revolution (ZDNet)
  • Best cell phone trade-in options for iPhones and Android phones (CNET)
  • The 10 most important iPhone apps of all time (Download.com)
  • 5G: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)
  • Modern city with smart 5G

    Modern city with smart 5G wireless communication network concept .

    Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto