5G coverage to reach 4.1 billion people by 2025
With different service providers making progress in establishing 5G technology infrastructure, the coverage is projected to keep growing, with data presented by Bankr indicating that global 5G network coverage will grow by 253.84% in 2025, reaching about 4.1 billion people. Estimates indicate that the figure will be about 53% of the population.
As of 2020, 1.17 billion people (15% of the population) have access to the technology; by 2021, it is predicted that 25% of the global population (1.95 billion people) will have 5G coverage. The 5G coverage build-out can be divided into radio deployments of new bands in the sub-6 GHz range, deployments in millimetre-wave frequency bands, and deployments in existing LTE bands.
The growth of 5G technology is driven by several aspects, led by increasing internet traffic as a result of a rise in the Internet of Things (IoT). The surge requires a resilient network and 5G can accommodate the growing demand. There is also rising demand for high-speed mobile broadband that 5G can handle.
5G builds on 4G coverage by introducing low latency and high speed, and enabling data-intensive applications to perform efficiently. As a result, the 5G network can handle a substantial quantity of devices compared to the current 4G LTE.
5G’s combination of speed, responsiveness and reach has the potential to unlock the capabilities of other trends in technology. The increase in access to 5G coverage in 2020 is a culmination of a joint consensus on the 5G network by major players in recent years.
The significant global coverage is driven by a select few regions in Asia, the US and Europe. Other regions are still building the infrastructure to accommodate the technology. Asia is the current leader in 5G after undergoing a migration in mobile broadband networks and smartphones, thereby enabling widespread 5G adoption. Other regions like the US are catching up, with the government proposing new policies to ensure all citizens are covered by the network.
Although the deployment of 5G faces various challenges, service providers have made progress in addressing issues such as access to the spectrum. 5G requires access to several spectrum bands with different attributes. Spectrum is the radio waves allocated to mobile operators to transmit data. Limited access to different spectrum bands in different locations has led to the slow uptake in some regions.
The cost of setting up frameworks to back faster data is high; the current telecom infrastructure needs to be upgraded and expanded. Some telecom companies might take time to establish the infrastructure since some don’t plan to monetise the technology soon.
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