MWC 2023: the next step in the evolution of 5G

The world’s largest and most influential communications event has reopened its doors at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, ​​Spain. This year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) is well under way into a new post-pandemic era.

Held annually by the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), an association representing the interests of mobile operators and the broader mobile industry worldwide, MWC Barcelona 2023 invited members of the global mobile ecosystem and related industries to join the network to learn about the future of communications. .

“Put on an explorer’s hat and let your imagination run wild, imagining all the possibilities that lie ahead,” said Mats Granried, CEO of the GSMA, in his welcoming speech. “Whether you are a mobile operator, a startup, a major traffic provider, or a public sector body, there has never been a more exciting and rewarding time to get involved in this industry.”

Global Mobile Economy Report 2023

In the latest annual GSMA Global Mobile Economy Report, key findings include: 5G will overtake 4G in 2029 to become the dominant mobile technology, with 5G adoption exceeding 85 percent in top 5G markets by 2030; By the end of the decade, global 5G connections will exceed 5 billion, and the industry will reach 1.5 billion connections by 2023; 5G will add nearly $1 trillion to the global economy in 2030 and benefit every sector, with the services (46 percent) and manufacturing (33 percent) sectors receiving the most value; the economic contribution of the mobile sector by 2030 will exceed 6 trillion US dollars; Most carriers expect private wireless networks to account for up to 20 percent of their total enterprise revenue driven by improved 5G capabilities. and the momentum of the Metaverse continues to grow in tandem with advances in technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and wearables.

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First 5G rollout, success

Chinese tech giant Huawei pointed out that 5G’s achievements in the first three years are equivalent to those of 4G in the first five years, and that leading carriers are already celebrating the success of the first phase of 5G development, which has instilled a sense of confidence. and confidence in the industry.

Huawei held the 5G Business Success Summit at MWC, where Peng Song, President of Huawei’s ICT Strategy and Marketing Division, delivered the keynote “Different Paths to 5G Monetization, Accelerating 5G Business Success.”

In his speech, Peng noted that the global penetration rate of 5G users in the first three years of its existence is equal to that of 4G in the first five years. Operators that reported more than 20 percent 5G user penetration during the first phase of rollout saw significant growth in mobile revenue.

According to the latest statistics from the GSMA and GSA, by December 2022, over 240 5G networks have been commercialized worldwide, over 1,700 different types of 5G terminals have been launched, and the number of 5G users has exceeded 1 billion.

Second wave of 5G

New data from GSMA Intelligence shows that 5G connections are expected to double over the next two years thanks to technological innovation and the deployment of new 5G networks in more than 30 countries in 2023 alone. Of the new networks to be rolled out in 2023, 15 are expected to be standalone 5G networks.

GSMA Intelligence’s forecasts at MWC Barcelona 2023 point to a significant period of mobile subscriber growth and enterprise adoption.

At the end of 2022, the number of consumer connections exceeded one billion and will increase to about 1.5 billion this year and reach two billion by the end of 2025. This momentum confirms that 5G is the fastest generational rollout compared to 3G and 4G.

As of January 2023, there were 229 commercial 5G networks worldwide and over 700 5G smartphone models available to users.

Enterprise IoT Drives Growth

The GSMA Intelligence figures also show that for operators, the enterprise market will be the main driver of 5G revenue growth over the next decade. Business customer revenue already averages about 30 percent of the total revenue of large operators, and the potential for further growth depends on the scale of enterprise digitalization.

Edge computing and IoT technologies open up additional opportunities for 5G: 12% of operators have already launched private wireless solutions, and this figure will grow as the range of expected IoT deployments expands in 2023.

“We live in an extraordinary time where digital technologies are the backbone of our economy and our society,” said José María Álvarez-Palette, Chairman of the Board of the GSMA and Chairman and CEO of Telefónica. “For over 30 years, the mobile industry has been at the forefront of innovation. At MWC, you will hear announcements and see world-class innovations that demonstrate how we will continue this journey and serve as a catalyst for immersive technologies such as the Metaverse and Web 3.0 to realize their potential.”

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