The 5G wave will begin with a trickle of early adopters next year, but reach more than 1 billion subscribers by 2023 and 1.5 billion the following year. At that point, 5G networks will cover 40% of the earth's population and carry a quarter of the world's mobile data traffic, according to a new report from Ericsson.
Why it matters: That's the fastest global adoption ever of a new generation of wireless technology. In addition to faster speeds, 5G offers other benefits, including minimal delay that could pave the way for things like remote operation of vehicles.
By the numbers:
- The total number of mobile subscriptions globally reached 7.9 billion in Q3 2018, with 120 million new subscriptions added during the quarter.
- 5G will bring about a surge in Internet-of-things devices, with 4.1 billion cellular IoT connections expected by 2024 — an annual growth rate of 27 percent.