Ericsson Mobility Report June 2020

Adapting to new realities

In 2020, the world’s digital infrastructure has become more important than ever.

We are living in unprecedented times. Directly or indirectly, COVID-19 has affected everyone around the world. Social distancing and keeping millions at home has placed significant demands on infrastructure. Systems supporting healthcare, education and businesses of all types are under stress.

Today, connectivity is key and so far, telecom networks have stood up to the task. This massive disruption has highlighted the value of the network, as recognized clearly by the consumers we surveyed for this edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

While in some markets 5G subscription growth has slowed as a result of the pandemic, this is outweighed by other markets where it is accelerating, leading us to raise our forecast of global 5G subscriptions at the end of 2020.

However, the success of 5G cannot be measured in subscriptions alone. The value 5G brings will be determined by the success of new use cases and applications for consumers and businesses. In this report we cover aspects of fixed wireless access, gaming and dedicated networks to give a broad picture of the progress of an industry that – despite the current situation – continues to rapidly evolve.

5G was made for innovation and, as the value of the digital infrastructure has been further evidenced during these recent times, 5G investments can play a significant role in restarting economies.

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Key figures

A summary of mobile subscription and traffic essentials, including our mobile data traffic growth and data traffic per smartphone forecasts.

Data and forecasts

Mobile subscriptions outlook

A total of 190 million 5G subscriptions are expected by the end of 2020.

Regional subscriptions outlook

Mobile broadband subscriptions currently make up 77 percent of all mobile subscriptions.

Fixed wireless access outlook

Fixed wireless access (FWA) connections are forecast to reach close to 160 million by the end of 2025, accounting for 25 percent of total mobile network data traffic globally.

5G device outlook

With third-generation chipsets, it’s time for performance optimization.

Voice and communication services trends and outlook

VoLTE is the foundation for enabling globally interoperable voice and communication services on 4G and 5G devices.

Mobile network traffic Q1 2020

Mobile network data traffic grew 56 percent between Q1 2019 and Q1 2020.

Mobile traffic by application category

Mobile traffic is expected to grow by 31 percent annually between 2019 and 2025. Continuing recent trends, most of this will come from video traffic.

Mobile data traffic outlook

In 2025, 5G networks will carry nearly half of the world’s mobile data traffic.

Network coverage

5G could cover up to 65 percent of the world’s population in 2025.

IoT connections outlook

The number of Massive IoT connections increased by a factor of 3 during 2019, reaching close to 100 million.


Communication needs in times of crisis

Behavioral changes, due to COVID-19 related lockdown restrictions in many countries, caused measurable changes in the usage of both fixed and mobile networks.

Connected consumers getting through the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on people in many countries and their daily lives, but consumers see resilient networks as a vital help in coping with everyday life.

More service offering choices for the consumer

Commercial 5G offerings are on the rise, leading to subtle shifts in service packaging trends.

Verizon is transforming fixed and mobile broadband with 5G

5G in millimeter-wave spectrum redefines user experiences.

Dedicated networks for industrial connectivity

As manufacturers address modernization, dedicated networks offer a way to support multiple use cases, retain control of network resource allocation and ensure critical data remains on-site.

Gaming on the move

In countries with lockdown measures in place, applications for video streaming, video calling and gaming experienced significantly increased usage.