With massive adoption of 5G, global mobile data consumption is set to explode in the coming years. From an average of 9GB per month per person in 2020, it is expected to rise to 35GB by 2026.
Every day, about one million new 5G subscriptions are taken out worldwide, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report. By the end of 2021, the 500-million mark should be well passed. China, North America and the Middle East are the most enthusiastic about 5G, while Europe is lagging behind, due to the late arrival of offers. In fact, 5G will become the fastest-adopted mobile generation of all time. Ericsson predicts that by 2026, no less than 3.5 billion subscriptions will be active worldwide.
North Americans are expected to consume the most data by 2026, with an average of 48 GB per month per person. In Western Europe, the Persian Gulf and India, the 40 GB threshold should also be reached, a level also nearly reached in China. Unsurprisingly, data consumption is expected to be lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, averaging around 9 GB per month, which would still be four times more than in 2020.
Video alone, again according to Ericsson, could account for 77% of mobile traffic in 2026, up from 66% in 2020.