5G connections expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2025

5G connections expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2025 [Image: monsitj via iStock]

A new report has predicted that 2025 will see 1.4 billion 5G connections. This is an increase from just one million in 2019, which is the year it is expected the technology will launch commercially.

According to the report authors at Juniper Research, this will represent an average annual growth of 232 per cent.

The study, ‘5G Market Strategies: Consumer & Enterprise Opportunities & Forecasts 2017-2025’, warned that in order to be successful, 5G fixed wireless broadband is going to have to meet the expectations of real-world scenarios to compete with fibre broadband.

Juniper found that China, the US and Japan are going to be the three countries with the highest number of 5G connections by 2025. Altogether, these countries are expected to possess 55 per cent of all 5G connections.

In addition, the new research found that the US alone will account for more than 30 per cent of global 5G Internet of Things (IoT) connections by 2025. The highest number of 5G connections is likely to be for fixed wireless broadband and automotive services.

However, Juniper also forecast that the average revenue per connection (ARPC) would be disappointing, including smart cities and digital health. This will be due to “low data requirements and nominal duty cycles”.

The research urged operators to develop new business models to minimise network operating costs. This includes software-based solutions that manage the diverse requirements of individual 5G IoT connections.

It also advised that maximising connectivity revenues through 5G fixed wireless broadband would be vital to “offset this disappointment,” with ARPC forecast to remain above $50 (£38.79) until 2025.

Research author Sam Barker said: “Operators and vendors must test their networks in a real-world environment at scale, ensuring speeds can compete with fibre services. Networks that can deliver the highest speeds and greatest reliability will command the highest ARPCs, hastening operators’ return on 5G investment”.