June 11, 2019 / 8:11 AM / 9 days ago

Swedish gearmaker Ericsson increases 5G forecasts

FILE PHOTO: Telecommunications workers Chris Viens, James Golden and Guy Glover install a new 5G antenna system made by Ericsson for AT&T's 5G wireless network in downtown San Diego, California, U.S., April 23, 2019. Picture taken with fisheye lens. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s Ericsson has raised its forecast for 5G subscriptions by 27 percent to 1.9 billion by 2024, with network coverage offering access to 45 percent of the world’s population, it said on Tuesday.

Strong commitment is required from chipset and device vendors as the next-generation networks go live and 5G devices become more readily available, the telecoms network equipment maker said in its biannual Mobility Report.

Ericsson, which competes with China’s Huawei and Finnish rival Nokia, said that North America is expected to lead the 5G uptake with 63 percent of anticipated mobile subscriptions in its region in five years, followed by North East Asia and Europe.

The company’s previous forecast in November predicted 1.5 billion 5G subscriptions in 2024 and network coverage to have reached more than 40 percent of the world’s population.

The mobile network industry has gone through a tough period as demand for 4G and older network equipment has subsided, though 5G spending in North America has helped to fuel a return to growth.

LTE (4G) will remain the dominant mobile-access technology by subscription for the foreseeable future, Ericsson said, with almost 5 billion subscriptions expected by the end of 2024.

The new generation of mobile phone technology is expected to bring faster data speeds and better accommodate a greater variety of connected devices.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by David Goodman

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