Released today, the latest appendix of the Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) Mobility Report for the Middle East and North East Africa forecasts that 5G subscriptions will reach 20 Million by 2022 in region Middle East and North East Africa.

Mobile subscriptions are growing steadily across the region.  They are expected to reach 690 million by the end of 2016, making up to 8 percent of the global market, and reaching 850 million mobile subscriptions by 2022.  The total number of GSM subscriptions will account to 60 percent of total mobile subscriptions by the end of 2016.  It is expected that Mobile Broadband subscriptions will surpass GSM-only subscriptions by 2018.  WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions will increase from around 30 percent of total subscriptions in 2016 to 42 percent in 2022.

ericsson_graph2

LTE subscriptions are rapidly increasing to account for 7 percent of total mobile subscriptions by the end of 2016 and reaching out to 38 percent by 2022.  As a result, there is a swift shift towards this technology across the region and LTE Network deployment projects are accelerating despite the extreme variations in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) maturity levels.

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and East Africa says: “Our latest Mobility Report reflects how digital technology is fast becoming part of everyday’s life in region Middle East and North East Africa.  It highlights the rapid uptake of LTE deployments across the region, paving the way for 5G where we are expecting 20 million subscriptions by 2022.   Today, we are working together with our partners to pave the way for 5G across the region and we are already seeing a great interest amongst operators launching 5G plug-ins on existing 4G networks.”

By 2022, the report anticipates that mobile data traffic will multiply 13-fold while average active smartphone data consumption per month will increase from 1.8 GB in 2016 to 13 GB in 2022. These figures are driven by an increase in video consumption, social networking and app usage. For example, over 70 percent of smartphone users in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE watch video clips on social networking websites at least once a week, compared to the 65 percent global average. 44 percent of them believe that they cannot live without social networking, which is nearly twice as much as the global average of 24 percent. Moreover, YouTube and Facebook were consistently shown to be the apps with the highest total data traffic in multiple countries across the region.

Further highlights from the appendix of the Ericsson Mobility Report for the Middle East and North East Africa include:

 

ericcson_graph1

Smartphone uptake: Smartphone uptake is a key driver for data traffic. Between 2016 and 2022, smartphone subscriptions will more than double, from 230 million to 480 million. By the end of 2016, 33 percent of subscriptions will be smartphones—and by the end of 2022, this figure will increase to 56 percent. Furthermore, mobile data traffic across the region will reach around 4.8 Exabites per month by the end of 2022, which is nearly 13 times greater than the figure at the end of 2016. This is a direct result of an increase in smartphone data consumption per month.

5G and IoT: This year’s mobility report has proven that the Middle East and North East Africa region is well on its way to 5G and IoT. Operators, governments, and industries are investigating what new opportunities these technologies would bring, as vendors and universities push the limits of technology towards enabling a networked society. As more and more devices, sensors, and appliances connect to each other and to the internet, security and sustainability continue to be strengthened and optimized. And by 2022, cellular IoT connections will reach 45 million, a four-fold increase.

The Ericsson Mobility Report is an industry-leading publication on mobile data traffic, providing in-depth measurements from live networks spread around the globe. The report uses these measurements and analysis, together with internal forecasts and other relevant studies, to provide insights into current traffic and market trends in the Networked Society.

The Traffic Exploration Tool, which accompanies the report, can be used to create customized graphs and tables. The information can be filtered by region, subscription, technology, traffic and device type.