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Mobile data traffic in Middle East will swell twelvefold by 2022

November 2016

November 22, 2016 | 14:55 | Dubai

The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts that there will be 550 million 5G subscriptions in 2022. North America will lead the way in uptake of 5G subscriptions, where a quarter of all mobile subscriptions are forecast to be for 5G in 2022.

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Asia Pacific will be the second fastest growing region for 5G subscriptions, with 10 percent of all subscriptions being 5G in 2022. From 2016 to 2022, Middle East and Africa will dramatically shift from a region with a majority of GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions, to 80 percent of all subscriptions on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE. However, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions will still account for a significant share of subscriptions by 2022.

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The region Central & Eastern Europe and Middle East & Africa (CEMA) will experience a  twelvefold increase in mobile data traffic up to 2022, driven by a strong growth in smartphone subscriptions and demand for data-intensive applications like video.

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By the end of 2016, there will be 3.9 billion smartphone subscriptions. Almost 90 percent of these subscriptions will be registered on WCDMA/HSPA and LTE networks. By 2022, the number of smartphone subscriptions is forecast to reach 6.8 billion, with more than 95 percent of the subscriptions registered on WCDMA/HSPA, LTE and 5G networks.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: “Almost 90 percent of smartphone subscriptions are on 3G and 4G networks today and standardized 5G networks are expected to be available in 2020. We are already seeing a great interest among operators in launching pre-standard 5G networks. 5G will accelerate the digital transformation in many industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and big data.”

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