4G to dominate African subscriptions by late 2020s, says Ericsson report

4G to dominate African subscriptions by late 2020s, says Ericsson report
5G subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from 7 million in 2022 to 150 million by the end of 2028, accounting for 14% of total connections, but 4G will be the dominant mobile technology by that time.

That’s one of the findings of the recently published November 2022 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report.

However, the same report points out that, right now in sub-Saharan Africa, 2G connections still constitute about half of the total mobile subscriptions, though it adds that 4G will be the main contributor to new connections up to 2028, by which time it will account for more than half of all mobile subscriptions.

Currently, 4G represents 29% of mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa, with 4G subscriptions expected to rise from 260 million in 2022 to 600 million in 2028. Not surprisingly perhaps, the report also forecasts that monthly data traffic per smartphone in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 26% from 4.6 GB per month in 2022 to 18 GB per month in 2028.

Also potentially relevant to Africa is the forecast that global fixed wireless access (FWA) connections are to grow faster than previously expected. That’s because FWA – the wireless alternative to wireline broadband connectivity for homes and businesses – is one of the major early 5G use cases, particularly in regions with unserved or underserved broadband markets. FWA is forecast to grow at 19% year-on-year through 2022-28, and top 300 million connections by the end of 2028.

As for overall global mobile subscriptions, these are expected to top 8.4 billion by the end of 2022, and 9.2 billion by the end of 2028. Most subscriptions involve smartphones. In fact Ericsson estimates that at the end of 2022 there will be 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions, accounting for about 79% of all mobile phone subscriptions.

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