With the rollout of 5G due to begin imminently, with 5G mobile hotspots expected by the end of this year and the first 5G-capable devices coming in 2019, the technology is undoubtedly going to shake up the mobile internet world.

The fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity promises faster speeds and lower latency, with download speeds ten to 20 times faster than 4G bringing new capabilities to connected devices. As a result, many companies including Verizon, QUALCOMM and Intel are all promising that their 5G offerings as just around the corner.

Launched today, Ericsson’s 2018 Mobility Report gives an insight into what that could look like.

With the total number of mobile subscriptions now reaching 7.9 billion, mobile data traffic has grown rapidly in the last year, increasing by 79% between Q3 2017 and Q3 2018, the highest growth rate since Q3 2013.

This growth is only set to continue with the introduction of 5G. The report forecasts that by 2024, there will be 1.5 billion 5G subscriptions covering over 40% of the global population.

5G subscriptions to surge worldwide

Between 2018-2024, total mobile data traffic is expected to increase fivefold, but 5G will be fastest generation of cellular technology to be rolled out on a global scale yet.

Increased network capacity, lower cost per gigabyte and new use case requirements are expected to further drive this growth.

However, the report found that Europe is expected to lag behind some other parts in the world, accounting for only 29% of mobile subscriptions in the region, compared with 55% in North America, and 43% in South Korea, Japan and China.

The uptake of 5G is also expected to drive the growth of the number of cellular Internet of Things (IoT) connections worldwide, with cellular IoT connections expected to surpass 4 billion by 2024.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson believes that this growth will have a significant impact not just on individuals, but on whole industries:

“As 5G now hits the market, its coverage build-out and uptake in subscriptions are projected to be faster than for previous generations. At the same time, cellular IoT continues to grow strongly. What we are seeing is the start of fundamental changes that will impact not just the consumer market but many industries.”