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Data Consumption to Triple by 2028 and 5G to Expand

Mobile data consumption will triple in the next 6 years by 2028, as per the Mobile Economy report 2022. Similarly, global penetration of 5G will rise to 25 percent by 2025, GSMA’s report projects.

The report projects a progressive scenario for mobile communications services for the next few years. The report estimates that by 2028 global data consumption will grow triple-fold. It sees mobile subscribers continuously growing and with new horizons opened by 5G, data consumption will inflate over the years.

Meanwhile, it also projects a meteoric rise of 5G as its expansion grows worldwide.

As per the report, global mobile internet subscribers reached 4.2 billion in 2021, which means 53% of the population is connected. But the internet use gap still remained wide at 41 percent, which suggests huge mass remain in the footprint but do not use it. GSMA says it is down to “a lack of affordability, relevance, knowledge, and skills, in addition to safety and security concerns.”

Furthermore, the barriers to mobile internet adoption are particularly acute among certain segments of the population, including women, the elderly, those in rural areas, and persons with disabilities,” the report elaborated.

Related: GSMA Announces The Asia Pacific 5G Industry Community

Global 5G Expansion meets with declining 4G users

The total 5G subscriber base will reach a billion milestones by the end of 2022. The report references “a new wave of 5G rollouts” in Brazil, Indonesia, and India for increased subscribers. This will also contribute to mass production of cheaper and 5G devices which will further boost the growth of the 5G eco-system.

Percentage of 2G 3G 4G 5G Mobile connections 2025 prediction GSMA

For reference, the total percent of 5G subscribers was just 8 in 2021. The report project the number to rise to 25 percent by 2025, a quarter of the total mobile service subscribers. That is more than two in every five people will have access to high-speed 5G broadband.

5G users in 20215G users in 2025
8 percent25  percent


But with modern technologies taking dominion, older ones lose relevancy. Currently, mobile phone users are migrating to the fourth-generation network forsaking 2G and 3G. But with the global 5G expansion accelerating, even the 4G base will start seeing a decline.

Check out: Why do three mobile technologies 2G, 3G, 4G coexist?

The decrease in the 4G user base will be down to key markets such as China, Indonesia, the US, South Korea for their ruthless expansion of 5G nationwide. As such, GSMA sees the global 4G base regressing to 55 percent in 2025, from its “peak” of 58 percent in 2021.

4G users in 20214G users in 2025
58 percent55  percent
4G and 5G subscriber prediction 2021 to 2025

Also read: 3G Network Shutting Down in the US

Global GDP Boost

Overall, a total of 5.3 billion people subscribed to mobile services by the end of 2021. This total represented 67 percent of the global population. But by 2025, an additional 400 million people will be joining mobile communications. The report attributes this bump to accelerating mobile services growth in the Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa. In the next three years, the global total of mobile subscribers will reach 5.7 billion. That will be 70 percent of the global population.

Total subscribers in 2021Total subscribers in 2025Growth by
5.3 billion (63 percent)5.7 billion (70 percent)400 million

And the growing mobile technologies will also play a more pivotal role in uplifting the digital economy. Last year in 2021, mobile technologies and services generated $4.5 trillion of economic value-added, which is 5 percent of the global GDP. GSMA’s report projects this to reach 5 trillion by 2025 (an increase of $400 billion).

How much do you depend on mobile data for internet browsing? Do you think the upcoming 5G and cheaper mobile data plans will impact fiber broadband expansions? You can offer your inputs in our comments section below.

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