Sub-Saharan Africa 5G subscriptions to hit 150m – Report

5G Spectrum

5G Spectrum

By Funmilola Gboteku

Ericsson, a Swedish multinational telecommunications company, has projected that 5G subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will grow from seven million in 2022 to 150 million by the end of 2028.

Ericsson made this known on Thursday during a webinar organised to discuss its latest 2022 edition of the Mobility Report.

The Ericsson Mobility Report is an industry-leading publication on mobile data traffic, providing in-depth measurements from live networks spread around the globe.

The Mobility Report said that 2G connections still constituted about half of the total mobile subscriptions in SSA.

It said that this were projected to decline as subscribers were migrating to 4G and 5G networks.

The report said that 4G would be the main contributor to new connections up to 2028, accounting for more than half of all mobile subscriptions at that time.

The Ericsson report said that currently, 4G represented 29 per cent of mobile subscriptions in SSA with 4G subscriptions expected to rise from 260 million in 2022 to 600 million in 2028.

According to the report, the monthly data traffic per smartphone in SSA will increase by 26 per cent from 4.6 GB per month in 2022 to 18 GB per month in 2028.

Hossam Kandeel, Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit MTN and Customer Unit MTN Africa at Ericsson Middle East and Africa said: “Connectivity in Africa plays a critical role in the upliftment of the continental economy.

“The growth in 5G and 4G networks coverage will become a major catalyst for innovation, connection, and opportunity for Africans everywhere. We are proud to be a part of this journey,” Kandeel said.

The report projects that global 5G subscriptions remains on track to top one billion by the end of this year, and five billion by the end of 2028, in spite of the current and developing economic challenges in many parts of the world.

According to the Mobility Report, on 5G itself, about 110 million subscriptions were added globally between July and September 2022, bringing the total to about 870 million.

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Ericsson said that as forecasted in previous reports, 5G is still expected to reach one billion subscriptions by the end of this year, two years faster than 4G did, following its launch.

The report said that the statistics reinforces 5G as the fastest-scaling mobile connectivity generation.

It said that by the end of 2028, five billion 5G subscriptions are forecast globally, accounting for 55 percent of all subscriptions.

“In that same timeframe, 5G population coverage is projected to reach 85 per cent while 5G networks are expected to carry around 70 per cent of mobile traffic and account for all contemporary traffic growth, “it said.

The report also forecasts that global Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connections would grow faster than previously expected.

It said the FWA, the wireless alternative to wireline broadband connectivity for homes and businesses is one of the major early 5G use cases, particularly in regions with unserved or underserved broadband markets.

According to Ericsson, FWA is forecast to grow at 19 per cent year-on-year through 2022 to 2028, and top 300 million connections by the end of 2028.

The Mobility Report projected that overall mobile subscriptions were expected to top 8.4 billion by the end of 2022, and 9.2 billion by the end of 2028.

It said that most subscriptions were associated with smartphones.

The Mobility Report projected that at the end of 2022, 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions were estimated, accounting for about 79 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions.

The latest report also highlighted the importance of reducing environmental impact.

It said that the telecommunications sector had a key role to play in addressing global sustainability goals, both by reducing its own emissions and through its potential to reduce carbon emissions across other industries.

Ericsson noted that to reduce the environmental impact, the growing data traffic needs to be managed with smart network modernisation combined with a balanced approach to network performance. (NAN) (

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