Global connections of the Fifth-Generation (5G) network are expected to hit 660 million, which is two thirds of a billion worldwide by December 31.

This is according to Ericsson, in its Mobility Report released, yesterday. Ericsson, Swedish kit vendor, explained that the long-term forecast is that 5G will account for almost half (49 per cent) of all mobile subscriptions by 2027. This, according to the firm, means that 5G will overtake 4G at some time before that.

Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, Fredrik Jejdling, explained that mobile communication has had an incredible impact on society and business over the last 10 years.

“When we look ahead to 2027, mobile networks will be more integral than ever to how we interact, live and work. Our latest Ericsson Mobility Report shows that the pace of change is accelerating, with technology playing a crucial role,” he explained.

Jejdling said the increase in 5G subscriptions is due to stronger than expected demand in China and North America, driven in part by decreasing prices of 5G devices.

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He said there was also a net addition of 98 million 5G subscriptions globally in Q3 2021, compared to 48 million new 4G subscriptions, adding that at the end of 2021, it is estimated that 5G networks will cover more than two billion people.

According to the latest forecasts, 5G is on track to become the dominant mobile access technology, based on subscriptions globally, by 2027. 5G is also expected to account for around 50 per cent of all mobile subscriptions worldwide – covering 75 per cent of the world’s population and carrying 62 per cent of the global smartphone traffic by 2027.

MEANWHILE, in Nigeria, ahead of the spectrum auction for 5G, scheduled for December 13, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will conduct the second trial of 5G in Nigeria.

According to NCC, the trial, which is scheduled to hold today, is necessary in order to validate the national policy on 5G for the digital economy.

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The commission added that Airtel Networks Limited and its Original Equipment Manufacturer would conduct the supervised trial. Recalled that MTN Nigeria Communications had held the first 5G trials in Nigeria in 2019.

In its ‘Draft Consultation Document for Deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Mobile Technology in Nigeria’, the NCC disclosed that six locations across the nation were selected for this trial. The locations include, Abuja, Calabar, Lagos, Kano, Abeokuta, and Ibadan.

According to the NCC, the key parameters it was looking out for included: Throughput, latency and jitter measurements; Co-channel interference impact on QoS; Handover performance between access points (as applicable); Type/models of 5G terminals used for the test; Types of services (voice, data, video, etc.) and; Health and safety (EMF radiation level).