STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mobile network telecom gear maker Ericsson sees the number of 5G subscriptions nearly doubling in 2023 from 2022 to reach 1 billion in what would be a global break-through year for the emerging technology.
Asia is expected to account for over half of all 5G subscriptions by the end of 2023, said Patrik Cerwall, head of strategic marketing at Ericsson's Networks segment.
The mobile telecom network equipment industry is going through the toughest part of a decade-long cycle, as demand for 4G and older 2G and 3G network equipment subsides, while solid demand for next-generation 5G networks remains a few years away.
"We will see the first 5G subscribers in 2018 which will then grow rapidly, basically as fast as with 4G, possibly a bit faster," Cerwall said.
Ericsson, which in its semi-annual Mobility Report made its first forecast for 2023, sees a total of 9.1 billion mobile subscriptions at the end of 2023 and expects 4G to become the dominant mobile technology by the end of 2017.
The new generation of mobile phone technology is expected not only to bring higher data speeds, but also to better accommodate a wide variety of connected devices.
(Reporting by Olof Swahnberg; editing by Niklas Pollard)