Telecom Giant Ups 5G Forecast Despite Lockdown

Ericsson, the Swedish telecom equipment maker announced on Monday it will lift its forecast for 5G subscription globally to around 2.8 billion by 2025 from 2.6 billion due to the spread of Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The telecom industry is one of the very few industries that are seeing surge during this pandemic situation, which is mostly fueled by the increased demand as more people have started to working from home in order to avoid any infection and to adhere to lockdown rules imposed by various governments.

The head of Strategic Marketing at Ericsson Patrick Cerwall, said that the 2020 forecast will also be raised, “Long-term we look at 2025, 2.8 billion 5G subscriptions”, he told a web seminar held by the company.

Despite an overall bullish view of the technology, Patrick cautioned the pandemic would likely ease the short-term growth trajectory outside of China.

“If you look at the rest of the world, by the end of this year you see a decrease based on our estimate. People are sitting at home and it’s not the time to go out shopping for a new 5G device.”

Cerwall has also noted that, there had been a 20 per cent jump in data traffic in a number of markets with operators facing challenges in terms of location and profile, despite fixed operators taking the bulk of the remote working load. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there had been a shift of mobile traffic from business districts to residential areas and increased uplink demand from use of applications including video conferencing.

The Swedish company is now competing against Huawei and Nokia to sign up telecom customers, who are currently looking to upgrade their networks to 5G networks.

Currently, Ericsson is all set to publish its biannual Mobility Report next month, said in November 5G uptake was expected to be significantly faster than that of LTE, and the 5G subscriptions would account for as much as 29 percent of all mobile subscriptions in 2025.