Recently Ericsson published the 2022 edition of its ‘Mobility Report’ projects, where it forecasted that 5G subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa would grow from seven million in 2022 to 150 million by the end of 2028, accounting for 14 per cent of total connections at that time.
The report came as countries across the globe are fast rolling out 5G network services to further deepen their digital transformation agenda.
The Ericsson Mobility report disclosed that in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), 2G connections still constituted about half of the total mobile subscriptions.
These were projected to decline as subscribers migrated to 4G and 5G networks. Nevertheless, 4G will be the main contributor to new connections up to 2028, accounting for more than half of all mobile subscriptions at that time.
The report said, “Currently, 4G represents 29 per cent of mobile subscriptions in SSA, with 4G subscriptions expected to rise from 260 million in 2022 to 600 million in 2028. The monthly data traffic per smartphone in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 26 per cent from 4.6 GB per month in 2022 to 18 GB per month in 2028.”
Commenting on the report, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN and Customer Unit MTN Africa at Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Hossam Kandeel, said, “Connectivity in Africa plays a vital role in the upliftment of the continental economy. The growth in 5G and 4G network coverage will become a major catalyst for innovation, connection, and opportunity for Africans everywhere. We are proud to be a part of this journey.”
According to Kandeel, “As forecast in previous reports, 5G is still expected to reach one billion subscriptions by the end of this year – two years faster than 4G did following its launch. The statistic reinforces 5G as the fastest-scaling mobile connectivity generation.”
The report also stated that the overall mobile subscriptions were expected to top 8.4 billion by 2022 and 9.2 billion by the end of 2028, adding that most subscriptions are associated with smartphones.
“At the end of 2022, 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions are estimated, accounting for about 79 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions,” the report further said.