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Global 5G connections to attain 1.4bn by 2025 – Report

Global 5G connections are forecast to attain 1.4 billion globally by 2025, which is an increase from the one million connections predicted for 2019, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

This new report indicated that the increase will represent average annual growth of 232 per cent from 2019, which is anticipated to be the first year 5G will launch commercially.

The research also forecasts that the three countries with the highest number of 5G connections by 2025 would be China, the United States and Japan, as these three countries will have 55 per cent of all 5G connections by 2025.

The research also found the US alone will account for over 30 per cent of global 5G Internet of things (IOT) connections by 2025, with the highest number of 5G connections for fixed wireless broadband and automotive services.

The report also warned that to be successful, 5G fixed wireless broadband would need to meet expectations in real-world scenarios to compete with fibre broadband.

Major global telecoms’ operators aim to launch fifth-generation mobile networks in 2019 and 2020, however, there has been little indication of when the technology will launch commercially on the African continent.

Last month, Juniper said 5G operator-billed service revenue will reach $269 billion (R3.6 trillion) by 2025, rising from $851million (R11.3bn) in 2019. The group anticipates 5G revenue will have a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 161 per cent over the first seven years of 5G services globally.

In terms of commercial IOT revenues, Juniper forecasts Average Revenue Per Connection (ARPC), including for smart cities and digital health, would be disappointing due to low data requirements and nominal duty-cycles.

The research therefore, urged operators to develop new business models to minimise network operating costs, including software-based solutions, to manage the diverse requirements of individual 5G IOT connections.

It further advised that maximising connectivity revenues through 5G fixed wireless broadband would prove crucial to offset this disappointment, with ARPC forecast to remain above $50 (R667) until 2025.

“Operators and vendors must test their networks in a real-world environment at scale; ensuring speeds can compete with fibre services.

“Networks that can deliver the highest speeds and greatest reliability will command the highest ARPCs, hastening operators’ return on 5G investment,” says research author Sam Barker.

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