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2018 is the year of the first 5G commercial launches and large-scale deployments of the cellular Internet of Things (IoT).

The June 2018 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report takes a closer look at the trends that will drive the mobile industry over the next five years, with major milestones including the first commercial launches of 5G networks and large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. By 2023, we now estimate around 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections. Meanwhile, 5G will kick off with enhanced mobile broadband as its first use case; by the end of 2023, there will be 1 billion 5G subscriptions. Securing the right spectrum for 5G in low, mid and high bands is especially important in the near-term future.

Key figures

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

Data and forecasts

Mobile subscriptions worldwide Q1 2018

There are now around 5.5 billion mobile broadband subscriptions.

Mobile subscriptions worldwide outlook

2018 sees the first commercial launches of 5G.

5G device outlook

The first 3GPP smartphones supporting 5G are expected in early 2019.

Mobile subscriptions worldwide by region

In North America, 48 percent of subscriptions are expected to be for 5G in 2023.

Voice over LTE outlook

At the end of 2017, VoLTE subscriptions exceeded 610 million.

Mobile traffic report Q1 2018

Mobile data traffic grew 54 percent between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018.

Mobile traffic analysis by application category

Mobile video traffic is forecast to account for 73 percent of all mobile data traffic in 2023.

Mobile data traffic growth outlook

In 2023, 20 percent of mobile data traffic will be carried by 5G networks.

IoT connections outlook

The number of cellular IoT connections is expected to reach 3.5 billion in 2023.

Population coverage

In 2023, more than 20 percent of the world’s population will be covered by 5G.

Mobile network evolution

A total of 21 gigabit LTE networks have been commercially launched.

Updated Ericsson Mobility Report

Covering Q2 subscriptions and traffic data

Read here


Network performance through customers’ eyes

A customer survey has found that understanding the relationship between customer satisfaction, experience and network performance is the key to designing networks to drive loyalty.

Realizing smart manufacturing through IoT

Almost every asset in a factory can be connected and managed in order to solve operational challenges; we reveal how cellular connectivity can make smart manufacturing a reality.

Applying machine intelligence to network management

Machine intelligence will increasingly be applied to mobile network operations and maintenance, and is allowing systems to expand in size and complexity while improving productivity.

Securing the right 5G spectrum

For 5G to be successful in meeting the demands on data speeds and capacities, global harmonization of spectrum is essential.

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