5G cued as top technology in Southeast Asia by 2028

5G to become the leading technology in terms of subscriptions in South East Asia by 2028, with a penetration rate of 48 %, according to Ericsson.

The November 2022 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report also assumes that global 5G subscriptions remain on track to top one billion by the end of this year, and five billion by the end of 2028, despite current and developing economic challenges in many parts of the world.

Further, the report forecasts that global fixed wireless access (FWA) connections will grow faster than previously expected.

FWA – the wireless alternative to wireline broadband connectivity for homes and businesses – is one of the major early 5G use cases, particularly in regions with unserved or underserved broadband markets.

Driven in part by accelerated FWA plans in India, and expected growth in other emerging markets, FWA is forecast to grow at 19% year-on-year through 2022-28, and top 300 million connections by the end of 2028.

More than three-quarters of communications service providers (CSPs) surveyed in more than 100 countries currently offer FWA services. 

Almost one-third of CSPs are offering FWA over 5G, compared to one-fifth a year ago. Almost 40% of the new 5G FWA launches in the past 12 months have been in emerging markets.

On 5G itself, about 110 million subscriptions were added globally between July-September 2022, bringing the total to about 870 million. As forecast in previous reports, 5G is still expected to reach one billion subscriptions by the end of this year – two years faster than 4G did following its launch.

The statistic reinforces 5G as the fastest-scaling mobile connectivity generation. Key drivers include the timely availability of devices from multiple vendors, with prices falling faster than for 4G, and China’s large early 5G deployments.

Globally, almost 230 CSPs have launched 5G services to date, with more than 700 5G smartphone models announced or launched commercially.

By the end of 2028, five billion 5G subscriptions are forecast globally, accounting for 55% of all subscriptions. In that same time frame, 5G population coverage is projected to reach 85% while 5G networks are expected to carry around 70% of mobile traffic and account for all contemporary traffic growth.

Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and Head of Networks, Ericsson, said that service providers are taking actions to deploy the latest generation of energy-efficient radio hardware and software, increase the use of renewable energy sources, and operate site infrastructure intelligently to reduce the environmental impact.

In Southeast Asia and Oceania, it is expected that most major service providers would have launched commercial 5G services by the end of 2028. 5G subscriptions in the region are anticipated to reach around 620 million by end-2028, meaning 5G will become the leading technology in terms of subscriptions, with a penetration rate of 48%. 

The number of 5G subscriptions in the region is projected to reach almost 30 million in 2022. 5G adoption and growing consumer usage of new immersive services are key factors for growing mobile data usage in the region.

“Singapore is the first country in the world to reach 95% 5G SA coverage,” said Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson Singapore.

“5G is providing the digital infrastructure needed for Industry 4.0 and will undoubtedly accelerate the country’s digitalisation and growth even as it will enable new immersive experiences for consumers,” said  Wiktorin.