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Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G forecast to account for 90% of mobile subscriptions in GCC by 2029

Available in English العربية
  • Total 5G mobile subscriptions in the GCC are forecast to reach 75 million in 2029.
  • Gulf Cooperation Council is expected to have one of the highest regional 5G penetration rates by 2029 at 92 percent.
Ericsson Mobility Report  November 2023 cover.

The November 2023 edition of the Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mobility Report projects that total mobile subscriptions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will grow from 76 million in 2023 to 81 million in 2029. 5G will make up 34% of all mobile subscriptions by end of 2023 at 26 million subscriptions. 5G subscriptions are projected to grow at 19 percent annually over the forecast period from 26 million subscriptions in 2023 to 75 million in 2029, to account for around 90 percent of total subscriptions by 2029.

The GCC is also expected to experience steady mobile data traffic growth, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent forecast between 2023 and 2029. 5G traffic is expected to be the primary driver of growth with monthly data usage per smartphone expected to reach 66 GB by 2029.

Service providers are exploring various ways to monetize their investments in 4G and 5G networks through services such as machine-to-machine (M2M) or IoT, including fleet management, remote monitoring, health and financial services. Additionally, several smart-city projects are in development or have been proposed, which will utilize 5G network capabilities significantly across various use cases. Network slicing, 5G standalone, and API exposure will be key enablers for service providers to bring incremental revenues from new use cases.


Nicolas Blixell, Vice President and Head of Gulf Council Countries at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “The November 2023 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report shows that over 90 percent of the subscriptions in the Gulf Cooperation Council will be 5G by 2029. The strong economies in the GCC region are enabling governments to invest in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and telecoms as part of ambitious national visions and digitalization programs. Our commitment to supporting our partners in the GCC is steadfast and unwavering to provide limitless connectivity and a sustainable future.”

The report also estimates that in the six years between the end of 2023 and 2029, global 5G subscriptions are forecast to increase by more than 330 percent – from 1.6 billion to 5.3 billion. 5G coverage is forecast to be available to more than 45 percent of the global population by the end of 2023 and 85 percent by the end of 2029.  North America and the Gulf Cooperation Council are expected to have the highest regional 5G penetration rates by the end of 2029 at 92 percent, and Western Europe is forecast to follow at 85 percent penetration.

Read the full November 2023 Ericsson Mobility Report



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Ericsson enables communications service providers and enterprises to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans the following business areas: Networks, Cloud Software and Services, Enterprise Wireless Solutions, Global Communications Platform, and Technologies and New Businesses. It is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s innovation investments have delivered the benefits of mobility and mobile broadband to billions of people globally. Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York.