Global 5G connections to reach 3.2 billion by 2026; growing 940% currently – Report


A new study from Juniper Research has found that the total number of 5G connections will reach 3.2 billion by 2026; rising from 310 million in 2021.

According to the report, the growth will lead to a significant drop in the average revenue per 5G smartphone connection from the current $29 to $17 globally, and that will significantly impacting operator revenue.

To alleviate this decline, Juniper recommends that operators leverage orchestration tools to retain a network’s highest throughput and lowest latency for connections that require it.

“By utilizing this approach, operators can justify charging a premium to these prioritized connections over other 5G connections, and slow this declining average revenue,” it argued.

The report also predicted that, to maximize the monetization of the significant growth in 5G connections, operators will accelerate investment into standalone 5G networks to best position their services to manage future capacity.

Standalone 5G networks leverage next-generation technologies, such as network orchestration tools, to enable operators to monetize data-intensive use cases, like remote healthcare and mobile gaming among others.

Operators Must Monetize Value-added 5G Services

The new study, 5G Monetisation: Business Models, Strategic Recommendations & Market Forecasts 2021-2026, identified automating network orchestration tools as a key priority for operators in monetizing their 5G services.

These tools, according to the report, allow operators to adapt network conditions based on AI analysis of traffic; providing more bandwidth to connections that need it, and maintaining service performance.

Asia Pacific to Account for 2 Billion Connections by 2026

The report found that over 60% of global 5G connections will be located in the Asia Pacific region by 2026. Network orchestration technologies, alongside mmWave frequencies that enable data-intensive 5G services, will be a key driver in creating an ecosystem in this region that allows mobile subscribers to leverage 5G networks for emerging mobile services, whilst maintaining network performance.

Report co-author Dave Bowie remarked: ‘Operators in China, Japan and South Korea have all implemented lower subscription costs, which have accelerated 5G adoption, thus enabling these subscribers to explore novel services that require 5G connectivity.’

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector; providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.


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