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5G revenue growth outlook

Continued revenue growth in leading 5G markets

Key findings
  • In the top 20 5G markets, there is a positive correlation between 5G subscription penetration and service provider revenue.
  • Service provider revenue has grown at a rate of 3.5 percent CAGR over the past 2 years.
  • This growth equals 7 percent over the past 2 years.

Analysis of developments in leading 5G markets shows a strong correlation between increased 5G subscription penetration and service revenue. When data from Q4 2022 is added to previous analysis by Ericsson,1 it is evident that the positive revenue trend is continuing. As shown in Figure 2, the launch of 5G services in the top 20 5G markets2 is followed by a positive revenue development of 3.5 percent CAGR over the last 2 years, or a total of 7 percent.

Service providers promoting 5G value in times of surging inflation

Historically, service providers have found it challenging to increase consumer prices for mobile subscriptions in line with inflation. With the current surge of inflation across many areas, some service providers have now started to adjust their tariffs in relation to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). So far, adjustments have been significantly lower than inflation and this practice is still far from commonplace. As these adjustments only apply to entirely new or renewed contracts, they would have had little impact on revenue growth during 2022.

In contrast to such reactive price adjustments, which provide no incentive for consumers to pay more, the launch of 5G services has enabled service providers to proactively drive a shift to higher mobile tariffs, while adding value for consumers.

Value of connectivity strengthened by new 5G services

5G has created new value for consumer and enterprise customers, with service offerings of larger data buckets, higher speeds, and improved user experiences. For service providers, the additional value provided to consumers and enterprises translates into opportunities for upsell and revenue increase. The revenue trend in Figure 2 indicates this value capture has already begun. As 5G networks and ecosystems mature, with more services and applications being developed and offered, even more value for customers will be unlocked.

Figure 2: Revenue vs. 5G subscription penetration – top 20 5G markets (reference point Q1 2017, percent)

Revenue vs. 5G subscription penetration – top 20 5G markets (reference point Q1 2017, percent)

Source: Ericsson analysis of TechInsights data, Q4 2022.


A list of the top 20 5G markets was identified, based on 5G subscription penetration ranking. For each service provider in these markets, relative revenue development was calculated, using the first quarter of 2017 as a reference point. The development was calculated as a rolling four-quarter average, to filter out seasonality. Finally, individual developments were aggregated into an average development representing all service providers in the top 20 5G markets.

1. Ericsson Mobility Report – Business Review edition (February 2023).

2. Markets categorized as the “top 20 5G markets”: Australia, Bahrain, China, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Monaco, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, UK, US.

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