ABI Research Predicts 5G Subscription Will Reach 3.1 Billion In 2027

Global 5G subscription will reach 3.1 billion at the end of 2027 despite multiple states struggling to justify the network’s use cases, ABI Research reports.

The total number of users of 3.1 billion would mark an increase of 934 million subscriptions in 2022. According to the report global 5G market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 27% from 2022 to 2027.

The fifth-generation network is currently expanding worldwide despite users not having a justifiable need to switch to it from 4G. However, being able to access the most advanced wireless communication service does have an appeal to it. With the growth of subscribers, the data traffic will also make a hike.

5G traffic is predicted to reach 293 Exabytes in 2022 and touch 2,515 Exabytes in 2027. It would be a compound annual growth rate of 54%.

The report highlights that the 5G Core (5GC) market is on the rise. At the moment, a total of 35 5GC networks are operating in the Standalone (SA) mode.

“5GC holds potential for operators to monetize further existing cellular connectivity for traditional mobile broadband (MBB) use cases but also offers scope for operators to expand cellular capabilities in new domains. Additionally, 5GC also offers innovation potential for committed telcos to establish new operating models for growth outside of the consumer domain,” stated Don Alusha, senior analyst for 5G core and edge networks at ABI Research.

“A 5G cloud packet core can potentially unlock new transactions that supplement existing volume-centered modus operandi with a local, bottom-up value play for discrete engagements. But the power of a bottom-up model is not enough. To monetize a 5G cloud packet core at scale, some of the existing top-down intelligence is needed too. Learning how to operate in this hybrid top-down and the emerging bottom-up, horizontally stratified ecosystem is a journey for NTT Docomo, Rakuten Mobile, Singtel, Softbank, and Telstra, among other CSPs,” the analyst added.

Also read: Global 5G service revenue to reach $315 billion in 2023

5G will continue its eco-system expansion

5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) subscriptions are also projected to hit 72 million in 2027 which will account for 35% of the FWA market.

Further, the report observed that despite LTE FWA being widely deployed, they cannot offer the speed crucial to compete with wired broadband connections. 5G FWA will soon be ready to offer data rates and challenge the range of fiber, and become a “competitive alternative to wired broadband solutions.”

ABI reported that North America, Western Europe, and the Asia Pacific region are driving 5G FWA deployments. In North America and Western Europe, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are using 5G FWA to compete with DSL broadband services. Check out: 5G advantages: Speed, more connected devices, network slicing, and more

U.S. operators can see a huge potential with 5G FWA because two-thirds of its customers live in urban and suburban areas and they are dissatisfied cable customers, which renders them probable 5G FWA customers.

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