The Swedish operator updated its forecast today, increasing its predicted global 5G subscriptions to 2.8 billion by 2025

The coronavirus pandemic occurred at a crucial time for 5G, with many operators still in the early stages of rolling out the new technology. With deployments slowed in many cases due to social distancing restrictions, as well as bizarre conspiracy theories linking the mobile technology to the virus itself, you would be forgiven for thinking that 5G development was being forced to take a back seat. 

The reality, however, is quite the opposite. The pandemic has shown just how crucial network connectivity is to modern life. With more people than ever working from home, demand has risen considerably, carrying with it the future hopes of 5G.

Speaking at an online company event today named Ericsson Unboxed, Patrik Cerwall, head of strategic marketing at Ericsson, said that demand had risen 20% in some markets. As such, he noted that the company would be increasing its forecast for global 5G predictions by 2025.

“Long-term, we look at 2025, 2.8 billion 5G subscriptions,” he said. Cerwall also noted that the forecast for 2020 had already risen, but did not provide specific figures.

Ericsson is currently locked in battle with Huawei for 5G dominance, with mixed results. Ericsson has recently won a major contract BT in the UK, as well as other European contacts with telcos in the Netherlands, Greece, Finland, and Hungary. However, if Huawei may seem to be losing ground in Europe, it is more than making up for it with major Chinese contracts, as the Chinese government pushes to make 5G dominance national policy.

Nonetheless, Ericsson were in full bloom at their Unboxed event, with the company executive confident of the company’s future.

“In this time of crisis, we are prouder than ever of our people, the ones who are helping us connect the world. We have the best people in the industry, and I know I speak for all Ericsson employees when I say that we are, and will continue to be, a significant company on the world stage,” said Ericsson’s president and CEO, Börje Ekholm.


The coronavirus has had a huge affect on the telecoms industry, going beyond 5G to impact every aspect of daily operators. Find out how telcos have adjusted their businesses to succeed during this unprecedented crisis with our free webinar: State of Play, Telecoms & COVID-19

Also in the news:
Dish scraps NB-IoT network in favour of 5G
BT suspends £2.5bn dividend in wake of pandemic
Virgin Media and O2 strike £31bn merger, shaking BT