Globally, mobile broadband subscriptions now make up 74 per cent of all mobile subscriptions, while close to 95 per cent of all subscriptions will be for mobile broadband by the end of 2024.
This is according to the Ericsson’s Mobility Report that also projected that at the end of 2018, more than 20 per cent of all mobile subscriptions will be for LTE in the Middle East and North Africa, while in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), LTE will account for just over seven per cent of subscriptions.
The region, which Nigeria is part of, is anticipated to evolve over the forecast period and, by 2024, 90 per cent of subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband.
According to the report, there will be 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions, 8.4 billion mobile broadband subscriptions with 6.2 billion unique mobile subscribers in 2024. The driving forces behind this shift include a young and growing population with increasing digital skills, as well as more affordable smartphones.
Also in the Middle East and North Africa region, it is anticipated that there will be commercial 5G deployments with leading communications service providers by 2019 and significant volumes in 2021.
Although, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 5G subscriptions in discernible volumes are expected from 2022, key drivers for 5G deployment include increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements.
The report has projected that 5G is expected to reach more than 40 per cent global population coverage with 1.5 billion subscriptions for enhanced mobile broadband by the end of 2024, which would make 5G the fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale.
Nigeria, which now operates on 3G and 4G services as provided by telecommunications operators, had last week stressed its readiness to rollout 5G services across the country by 2020.
5G is expected to increase speed of internet connectivity and also boost machine to machine communication as well as human to device communication, where humans will communicate and remotely control 5G connected devices.