Ericsson Mobility Report: GCC is forecast to have 62 million 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of 2026

5G remains on track to become the fastest adopted mobile generation in history with subscriptions increasing at a rate of about a million per day globally

Ericsson Mobility Report: GCC is forecast to have 62 million 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of 2026
  • Saudi Arabia’s digital initiatives under Saudi Vision 2030 spurring uptake in 5G subscriptions in the GCC
  • 5G will account for 73 percent of all mobile subscriptions in the GCC by 2026

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) projects that there will be 62 million 5G mobile subscriptions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)  by 2026. GCC 5G subscriptions will account for the second highest 5G market penetration globally and will constitute almost three quarters of all mobile subscriptions in the region.

Additionally, 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million globally by the end of 2021, driven by an estimated one million new 5G mobile subscriptions every day.

The forecast, which features in the twentieth edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, enhances the expectation that 5G will become the fastest adopted mobile generation

The report features breakout statistics from GCC markets for the first time where government-sponsored digital initiatives are accelerating both technological innovation and expected 5G uptake. In 2019, GCC markets were among the first in the world to launch commercial 5G services.

Driven by Saudi Vision 2030 and its digital initiatives to fulfil the strategic themes of a Building A Thriving Economy and Fueling an Ambitious Nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is utilizing technologies such as 5G to transform the economic and social landscape of the nation.

As one of the leading economies in the GCC, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is supporting the use and growth of technologies such as 5G in a region where mobile data consumption is the highest in the world. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, at the end of 2020, the GCC had the highest average monthly data traffic per smartphone in the world, exceeding 18GB.

Globally 5G is expected to surpass a billion subscriptions two years ahead of the 4G LTE timeline for the same milestone. Key factors behind that include China’s earlier commitment to 5G and the earlier availability and increasing affordability of commercial 5G devices. More than 300 5G smartphone models have already been announced or launched commercially.

This commercial 5G momentum is expected to continue in coming years, spurred by the enhanced role of connectivity as a key component of post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

Mathias Johansson, Vice President and Head of Ericsson Saudi Arabia and Egypt, says: “The twentieth edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report is a landmark edition which, for the first time, includes specific GCC data. The report is a testimony to the fruition of the Kingdom’s hard work to realizing the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, particularly in the vision of a developed digital infrastructure. 5G-powered digitalization is vital, especially with the world of digitally-enabled experiences like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Internet of Things (IoT).”

Download the latest Ericsson Mobility Report here.


Ericsson Newsroom   (+46 10 719 69 92)   (+46 10 719 00 00)

Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business. It is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s innovation investments have delivered the benefits of mobility and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York. 

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