Further evidence has emerged that the 5G market is continuing on its path of accelerated roll-out, with an updated version of the Ericsson mobility report showing that about 70 million new 5G subscriptions were added globally in the second financial quarter from April to June 2022.
The additions highlighted in the Q2 2022 analysis brought the total number of 5G subscriptions globally to 690 million at the end of the second quarter. The updated study revealed that 218 communications service providers had launched commercial 5G services and 24 communications service providers had launched 5G standalone (SA) networks.
It also showed that there were about 8.3 billion mobile subscriptions at the close of Q2, with about 6.1 billion unique mobile subscribers, and that mobile broadband was found to have accounted for about 86% of all mobile subscriptions.
Ericsson noted that the difference between the number of subscriptions and the number of subscribers was due to inactive subscriptions, multiple device ownership and/or the optimisation of subscriptions for different types of calls.
With the added subscriptions, mobile network data traffic grew by 39% between Q2 2021 and Q2 2022, with total monthly global mobile network data traffic reaching 100EB (exabytes). Over the long term, traffic growth was driven by both the rising number of smartphone subscriptions and an increasing average data volume per subscription, fuelled primarily by increased viewing of video content, said Ericsson. There are large differences in traffic levels between markets, regions and service providers.
The study also investigated the growth of 4G as well as 5G and found that 4G subscriptions increased by 77 million to about 5 billion, representing 60% of all mobile subscriptions, while WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions declined by 41 million. GSM/Edge-only subscriptions dropped by 48 million during the quarter, and other technologies decreased by about 6 million.
The study was printed just after Ericsson launched a radio product designed to address the ever-growing need of communications service providers (CSPs) for more sustainable offerings. This was the latest part of a strategy announced at the beginning of 2022 to tap into the growth of 5G.
The Radio 6646’s low-band spectrum capabilities are said to be able to significantly boost both 5G coverage and mid-band (3.5GHz) performance in an energy-efficient way, extending the multiband capabilities of Ericsson tri-sector products by combining 900, 800 and 700MHz frequency bands into one compact 2G to 5G-capable radio.
This is said to be able to produce a 40% reduction in energy usage compared with single-sector products, translating to yearly savings per site comparable to charging an electric car 40 times.