This year will likely go into the history books as the start of an even bigger societal change, Swedish-based telecoms equipment maker said in a report Tuesday.
The telecoms equipment maker added in the report that 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) promise new capabilities and use cases, which are set to impact not only consumer services but also many industries embarking on their digital transformations.
2018 will be the year for the first rollouts of 5G networks as well as large-scale deployments of cellular IoT, it said.
The forecast for cellular IoT connections has nearly doubled since November 2017. It is now expected to reach an estimated 3.5 billion in 2023, driven by ongoing large-scale deployments in China.
New massive IoT cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 are fueling this growth, giving service providers opportunities to improve efficiencies and enhance customer value.
This is made in Ericsson’s 2018 mobility report, which states that mobile operators have launched more than 60 cellular IoT networks worldwide using these technologies over the same underlying LTE network to support a diverse range of use cases.
“2018 is the year 5G networks go commercial as well as for large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. These technologies promise new capabilities that will impact people’s lives and transform industries,” says Fredrik Jejdling, Ericsson’s executive VP and head of Business Area Networks.
“This change will only come about through the combined efforts of industry players and regulators aligning on spectrum, standards and technology.”
Globally, major 5G deployments are expected from 2020, while the first commercial 5G networks are likely to be launched later this year. Ericsson forecasts over 1 billion 5G subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2023, accounting for around 12 percent of all mobile subscriptions.
Mobile data traffic is estimated to surge by eight times during the forecast period to reach close to 107 exabytes per month – a figure that is equal to every mobile subscriber in the world streaming full HD video for 10 hours. By 2023, more than 20 percent of mobile data traffic worldwide is expected to be carried by 5G networks. This is 1.5 times more than the total 4G/3G/2G traffic today.
IoT presents opportunities for enterprises to improve efficiencies and enhance customer value.
“New massive IoT cellular technologies, such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1, are taking off and driving growth in the number of cellular IoT connections, with a CAGR of 30 percent expected between 2017 and 2023.” Ericsson explains in the report.
“These complementary technologies support diverse low-power wide-area (LPWA) use cases over the same underlying LTE network.”