Ericsson has predicted that there will be one billion 5G subscriptions for mobile broadband by 2023 in the latest monthly Ericsson Mobility Report.

5G is expected to be deployed first in dense urban areas, covering more than 20 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2023. With the first commercial networks based on 5G New Radio (NR) expected to go live in 2019, Ericsson has forecast that early 5G deployments will be seen in markets including the US, South Korea, Japan and China.

According to Ericsson, mobile data traffic is expected to grow eightfold during the forecast period, with it set to reach 110 Exabytes per month by 2023. This will correspond to 5.5 million years of HD video streaming.

The company found that video consumption continues to fuel mobile broadband traffic growth. The Ericsson Mobility Report found that streaming video in higher resolutions, as well as an emerging trend of increased streaming of immersive video formats, such as 360-degree video, will have an impact on data traffic consumption volumes.

Meanwhile, Ericsson predicted that LTE will be the dominant mobile access technology by the end of 2017. It is predicted to reach 5.5 billion subscriptions and cover more than 85 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2023.

Niklas Heuveldop, chief strategy officer and head of technology and emerging business at Ericsson, said: “The latest report highlights trends in mobile subscription and data traffic growth, as well as the industry’s effort to tackle the increasing demands on mobile networks globally.

“In addition, the report examines the emergence of new use cases as network capabilities evolve – smartwatches, [Internet of Things] alarms, and augmented reality-assisted maintenance and repair, to name a few. As we prepare for 5G, these trends will continue to set the agenda for the mobile industry going forward.”

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