5G connections will reach 1.5 billion globally by 2025, up from 5 million in 2019, according to a Juniper Research – an annual average growth of 150% over the next six years.
Operators in Europe are encouraged to take action to justify premium pricing models if they are to benefit fully from the growth.
Growth in the US and South Korea
The 5G Market Strategies: Consumer & IoT Opportunities & Strategies 2020-2025 study forecasts that the US and South Korea will be the fastest adopters of 5G, with 75% of all 5G subscribers attributable to these two countries by the end of 2020.
It found that aggressive pricing strategies and extensive device support have attracted over 5 million subscribers to 5G networks globally in 2019.
While pricing strategies from operators in the US and South Korea have aimed to rapidly migrate users to 5G networks by offering low-cost connectivity, the report warns that this strategy will prolong operators’ primary goal of securing a return on their substantial 5G investment.
Lessons for Europe
Conversely, the research notes that operators in other regions, such as Europe, have focused on maximising early 5G revenue by applying premium pricing over 4G subscriptions. It encourages operators in these regions to expand geographical 5G coverage via base station roll-outs to maximise the value proposition of 5G.
Andrew Knighton, the author of the research, said, “We expect 5G to be used for over 5 million broadband connections by the end of 2020. Operators will need to provide 5G whose bandwidth and latency matches or exceeds current Internet services. Otherwise, they risk missing out on this valuable new revenue stream.”