5G subs to hit 1.5 billion in 2024, but that's not great news

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5G subs to hit 1.5 billion in 2024, but that's not great news

Swedish mobile network telecom gear maker Ericsson sees 5G subscriptions growing by 50 percent in 2024 to 1.5 billion, covering more than 40 percent of the world's population.But that growth will trail growth in other wireless network subscriptions, leaving 5G with around 17% market share.

North America and northeast Asia are expected to lead the 5G uptake, while major network deployments globally are expected from 2020.

The first commercial 5G subscriptions in Europe are expected in 2019, Ericsson said in its semi-annual Mobility Report.

The mobile telecom network equipment industry is going through a tough period, as demand for 4G and older 2G and 3G network equipment subsides but solid demand for next-generation 5G networks remains a couple of years away.

Ericsson, which in Tuesday's report made its first forecast for 2024, sees a total of 8.9 billion mobile subscriptions at the end of 2024, up from 5 billion at the end of this year.

If 5G hits Ericsson's predicted 1.5bn subs, it will have just under 17% market share. And it will have won those customers in a period during which new subs to other networks grew by 2.4bn.

(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Olof Swahnberg; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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