Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting a strain on Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) in many industries, 5G investments were largely spared, as countries like China and South Korea go all-in with 5G rollouts. In ABI Research’s latest 5G market forecast for the years 2022 to 2026, it’s clear that adoption is destined for rapid growth and will shift from a minuscule slice of the network market to the largest network by 2026. In this post, ABI Research takes a closer look at the 5G market with five eye-opening stats that every service provider needs to know to plan for success.
Stat #1 to Know About 5G: There Will Be 2.6 Billion 5G Subscribers in 2026
In 2022, there are around 715 million 5G subscribers worldwide, which is a smaller number than the now ancient 2G/3G. However, this trend will be short-lived as the 5G subscriber number is expected to grow to 2.6 billion by 2026.
Stat #2 to Know About 5G: 5G Subscriptions Are Growing at a CAGR of 38%
Another way to look at the 5G subscriber base is that the number of 5G subscribers number will grow by an impressive 38% every year between the forecast period (2022 to 2026). Now, compare that with the dismal Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGRs) of 2G/3G and 4G, as follows:
2G/3G: -20% CAGR
4G: -9% CAGR
Stat #3 to Know About 5G: 5G Users Will Consume Over 1 Trillion GBs of Data by 2025
As one of the craziest stats found in ABI Research’s 5G market forecast, nearly 1.2 trillion Gigabytes (GBs) of data traffic will stem from 5G networks in 2025. To be fair, this feat will be accomplished by 4G one year before, in 2024. By 2026, the 5G sum of traffic will gain the upper hand over 4G, when about 1.7 trillion GBs of traffic will be consumed by users, compared to 1.4 trillion GBs of 4G data.
Stat #4 to Know About 5G: Nearly 4X as Many Americans Will Use 5G in 2026 as They Do in 2022
Compared to the roughly 86 million 5G subscribers in the United States in 2022, by 2026, there will be more than 323 million subscribers on the network. This positions the United States right between China and India on the upper end of the largest 5G markets. As impressive as the U.S. market is, China is, by far, the biggest regional market.
Stat #5 to Know About 5G:China Will Go from Accounting for 68% of the 5G Market to 38% in Just 4 Years
There are already 486 million 5G subscribers in China in 2022, which is 68% of all 5G subscribers worldwide. However, the rest of the world—especially the United States, India, Indonesia, and Japan—is quickly catching up in 5G deployments. By 2026, China will only represent 38% of all 5G subscribers, which is still nearly 1 billion subscribers and easily makes it the biggest market opportunity for Mobile Service Providers (MSPs). This 5G stat goes to show how far ahead China has already been in the 5G space and how much room for improvement other regions possess.
Takeaways from the 5G Market Stats
In the coming years, 5G is set to become the dominant force in the mobile network services space. As consumer and enterprise standards increase, 5G becomes the logical solution, especially as the age of early adoption and high prices fade away. Although the transition from legacy networks to 5G varies from region to region, overall adoption is on track for mainstream status. No matter which of the 30 countries ABI Research analyzed in our 5G market forecast, adoption is ramping up and growth rates are impeccable, with the lowest CAGR being 21% in South Korea.
By reviewing the data found in this post and the rest of the 5G market projections, which can be found in ABI Research’s Network Technology and Market Tracker market data report, MSPs are equipped with the information needed to plan exceptional product development and marketing strategies. To learn more, download the report today. This report is part of ABI Research’s 5G & Mobile Network Infrastructure Research Service.