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The State of 5G

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

With smartphone markets maturing and breakthrough innovations becoming increasingly rare, the switch to 5G could become the biggest growth driver for the smartphone industry in coming years. And while the rollout of the faster wireless standard has been remarkably quick – the GSMA expects 5G connections to hit one billion this year – there’s still plenty of room to grow for 5G and it will take years for it to overtake 4G.

According to the GSMA, 5G accounted for 8 percent of global mobile connections in 2021, with the share considerably lower in most parts of the world. By 2025, one in four mobile connections is expected to be on a 5G network, with 4G expected to still have a dominant lead at 55 percent of connections in 2025.

As the following chart, based on GSMA estimates, shows, Greater China is currently leading the race to 5G with 29 percent of mobile connections in the region utilizing the new standard. North America is a distant second with 13 percent adoption and Europe is even further behind at 4 percent of all mobile connections. By 2025, 5G is expected to become the predominant standard in Greater China and North America, while the rest of the world is still expected to rely heavily on 4G for the time being.

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