Ovum Ramps Up Its 5G Subs Forecast

Ray Le Maistre
6/15/2017
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LONDON -- 5G World -- Accelerated 5G standards and launch plans have led the team at Ovum to revise its 5G subscription forecast, with the research house now expecting 389 million 5G subscriptions globally by the end of 2022.

The updated forecast was presented here this morning by Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum Ltd. 's service provider markets group. According to his new numbers, there will be around 100 million 5G subs worldwide by the end of 2021, but the following year will witness a significant surge, adding hundreds of millions of users (with many of those additions being in the Asia-Pacific region).

That's in sharp contrast to Ovum's previous forecast, issued in January this year, when the company said it expected 25 million 5G subs by the end of 2021.

But a lot has happened during the past few months.

First, the timeline for 5G standards was brought forward. That, in turn, brought forward expected 5G mobile broadband service launch plans. (See 3GPP Approves Plans to Fast Track 5G NR.)

Then T-Mobile US threw its hat into the 5G ring with its plans to launch 5G nationwide in the 600MHz spectrum band, a major announcement that's expected to fuel service availability and uptake in the US. (See T-Mobile Promises 'Nationwide' 5G in 2020 With New Spectrum.)

As a result, Ovum now expects that, by the end of 2021, 5G services will have been launched by more than 120 operators in 45 countries: Previously, Ovum had expected 50 operators in about 30 countries by the same deadline.

Ovum's forecast may seem aggressive to some, but it's still way short of the 500 million sub figure pitched earlier this week by Ericsson in its Mobility report. (See Ericsson Eyes Half a Billion 5G Users by 2022.)

Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, International Group Editor, Light Reading

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