5G is expected to reach 80 million subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2025, representing 10 per cent of the total mobile subscriptions in the region.
In the June 2020 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, the Swedish tech giant has upwardly revised its predictions for 5G penetration, along with projections for data traffic growth, and regional subscriptions.
“As consumers and enterprises adopt new digital behaviors imposed by COVID-19 lockdowns, an increased focus has emerged for mobile and fixed networks as central components of critical national infrastructure. The latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility Report reiterates the importance of new technologies such as 5G, not just in the evolution of communication but in terms of support for businesses and societies during remote work times,” said Fadi Pharaon, president of Ericsson Middle East and Africa.
The spread of Covid 19 during the first part of 2020 has impacted all parts of society, including the telecommunications sector. While 5G subscription growth in some markets has slowed as a result of the pandemic, this is outweighed by other markets where it is accelerating. Commercial 5G deployments launched in the region in 2019 and 5G subscriptions have already surpassed 500,000, mainly in the Gulf countries.
In the MENA region, around 23 per cent of mobile subscriptions were for LTE at the end of 2019. The MENA is anticipated to evolve over the forecast period, and by 2025, 77 per cent of mobile subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband. In fact, the region is expected to have one of the highest growth rates in mobile data usage during the forecast period, increasing total mobile data traffic by a factor of almost nine between 2019 and 2025. The average data per smartphone is expected to reach 23GB per month in 2025.
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