News & Analysis

In India, half all Phones will be on 5G by 2028

The 5G services were rolled out in India a couple of months ago but the service is currently available only in select cities

A new report expects that more than half of all smartphones in India would be on 5G by the end of 2028 with 4G networks in the country declining steadily after first touching a peak of 930 million in 2024. This was revealed by the Ericsson Mobility Report for the year released by the telecom infrastructure manufacturer this week. 


The Mobility Report said average data traffic per smartphone in the country has already grown to its highest levels. This is projected to grow from 25 GB per month at present to around 54 GB each month by 2028. Rapid 5G deployments by Indian service providers will enable 5G subscriptions to reach around 31 million by the end of 2022 and 690 million by the end of 2028.


However, 4G would peak during 2024

“5G will represent around 53 per cent of mobile subscriptions at the end of 2028. 4G subscriptions are expected to peak in 2024 at around 930 million and will thereafter decline to an estimated 570 million by the year 2028,” the report said adding that smartphone subscriptions in India as a percentage of total mobile subscriptions are expected to grow from 77 per cent in 2022 to 94 per cent in 2028.


The report estimates that there will be five billion 5G subscriptions globally, accounting for 55 percent of all subscriptions by the end of 2028. Around the same duration, 5G population coverage is projected to reach 85 per cent while 5G networks are expected to carry around 70 percent of mobile traffic and account for all contemporary traffic growth.


Total mobile subscriptions at 8.4 billion 

“Overall mobile subscriptions are expected to top 8.4 billion by the end of 2022, and 9.2 billion by the end of 2028. Most subscriptions are associated with smartphones. At the end of 2022, 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions are estimated, accounting for about 79 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions,” the report said.


India is also expected to drive growth of 5G based fixed wireless access services which will be the wireless alternative to wireline broadband connectivity for homes and businesses, it said adding that driven in part by accelerated FWA plans in India, and expected growth in other emerging markets, FWA is forecast to grow at 19 percent year-on-year through 2022-28, and top 300 million connections by the end of 2028. 


Globally, almost 230 telecom operators have launched 5G services to date, with more than 700 5G smartphone models announced or launched commercially, according to the report.



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