Ericsson forecasts 130 million 5G subscriptions in MENA by 2026 - Gulf Business
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Ericsson forecasts 130 million 5G subscriptions in MENA by 2026

Ericsson forecasts 130 million 5G subscriptions in MENA by 2026

Ericsson Mobility Report says 5G subscriptions will reach close to 1.4 million by end of 2020

A new report by Ericsson says there will be 130 million 5G subscriptions in the MENA region by 2026, representing 15 per cent of total mobile subscriptions.

The November 2020 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report predicts MENA will have the highest growth in monthly mobile data usage during the forecast period, increasing total mobile data traffic by a factor of almost 7 between 2020 and 2026. The average data per smartphone is expected to reach 30GB per month in 2026.

In the MENA region, around 30 per cent of mobile subscriptions are estimated to be for LTE at the end of 2020. The region is anticipated to evolve over the forecast period, and by 2026, almost 80 per cent of subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband, with LTE as the dominant technology with more than 50 per cent of the subscriptions.

Commercial 5G deployments have taken place in the region during 2019 and 2020 with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach close to 1.4 million by the end of 2020, mainly in the Gulf countries.

Broadband
The Middle East and Africa is a region with limited broadband connectivity. The report estimates that there will be around 65 million broadband connections by the end of 2020, representing a total household penetration of around 18 per cent. Out of these broadband connections, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is estimated to represent around 20 per cent.

Most of the FWA offerings in this region are 4G based, according to the report. However, there is a growing number of 5G FWA offerings in the Middle East, complementing the 4G FWA offerings.

FWA is projected to grow more than threefold, reaching around 35 million connections by 2026 and representing around 35 per cent of all broadband connections in the region.

“This latest edition of our Mobility Report highlights the fundamental need for good connectivity as a cornerstone for this change as the demand for capacity and coverage of cellular networks continues to grow,” Fadi Pharaon, president of Ericsson Middle East and Africa said.

“Investing in network infrastructure and optimising spectrum assignments to deliver expansive 5G connectivity are critical requirements to consider in this journey to herald a new era of end-user applications and devices.”

Read: Ericsson forecasts $31 trillion 5G consumer market by 2030

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