Omdia expects more 5G subscriptions to be added in 2022 than in the last three years since the technology was launched commercially in 2019.
Although 5G is still in its infancy, representing just 5% of all mobile connections, 5G mobile service revenues are set for rapid growth over the coming few years, driven by rapid adoption of 5G devices and higher spending by 5G customers as they increase their usage of data and digital services.
Omdia is expecting that by 2026, 40% of all mobile subscriptions will be 5G, totalling 4.8bn. Furthermore, annual 5G mobile service revenues are expected to reach $540.01bn worldwide by 2026, representing 60% of global mobile revenues.
The growth in 5G mobile service revenues will drive overall mobile service revenues to $911.61bn globally in 2026, up from $798.57bn in 2019.
China leads in 2021 with 357 million subscribers, followed by USA, Japan, and South Korea. The UK is in 5th place with more than 9 million 5G connections.
However, if we look at the percentage of the population with 5G connections, South Korea is ahead as more than 40% of the population has a 5G connection. Hong Kong follows South Korea at 39% and China at 30%. In the UK only 8% of the population has a 5G connection.
Omdia believes that gaming, streaming video, AR, and VR are some of the key drivers for consumers to take 5G plans.
Telcos which were previously not engaged with 5G have most frequently added a new pricing model, simply by adding extra data allowances to cater for a new or wider audience; “speed tiers” have also gained momentum in 2021. Only 10% of operators offering 5G have added 5G-rich services to 5G during 2021.
AIS Thailand claimed 2.2 million “high-value” 5G subscribers after 2 years of the launch of 5G and has experienced a corresponding ARPU uplift of about 10-15%, thanks to larger data volume consumed and additional benefits i.e., AR/VR services, 5G cloud games, and multiple SIMs.
Omdia claims that telcos should look to bundle-rich 5G apps and services to drive demand and sate consumer user needs for more advanced connectivity.