Global 5G connections to grow nearly 950% by 2026: research

Standalone 5G networks leverage next-generation technologies to enable operators to monetize data‑intensive use cases, like remote healthcare and mobile gaming


Global 5G connections to grow nearly 950% by 2026: research. Source: pexels.com

According to Juniper Research, the total number of 5G connections will reach 3.2 billion by 2026, rising from 310 million in 2021.

It forecasts that operators will accelerate investment into standalone 5G networks to best position their services to manage future capacity. It would be done to maximize the monetization of this significant growth in connections.

Meanwhile, the study identified automating network orchestration tools as a key priority for operators in monetizing their 5G services. These tools allow operators to adapt network conditions based on AI analysis of traffic. They provide more bandwidth to connections that need it and maintaining service performance.

The report also predicts that the average revenue per 5G smartphone connection will fall to $17 globally by 2026, from $29 in 2021 that is significantly impacting operator revenue.

In addition, more than 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.

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
Dave Bowie, report co-author 

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