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Super-fast mobile communications Europe is lagging behind in the 5G expansion The expansion of the new generation of mobile communications is progressing. Half a billion people worldwide could use 5G this year. According to a study, there are mainly networks in Asia and North America ahead.

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5G cellular antenna | dpa

Super-fast cellular network Europe is lagging behind in terms of 5G expansion

Status: 16.06.2021 11:11 a.m.

The expansion of the new generation of mobile communications is progressing. Half a billion people worldwide could use 5G this year. According to a study, there are mainly networks in Asia and North America ahead. In the race to expand the fifth generation of mobile communications (5G), Western Europe is in danger of being overtaken by North America, Northeast Asia and the Gulf States on the Arabian Peninsula. That is the result of a study by the Swedish network equipment manufacturer Ericsson. According to this, nine percent of all mobile phone contracts in Northeast Asia (including China and South Korea) had already been converted to 5G by the end of 2020. In Western Europe this value was only one percent. Globally, it is expected that 580 million people will already be using 5G networks by the end of 2021. Because of the corona pandemic, some frequency auctions in Europe have been postponed, Ericsson said in his “Mobility Report”. This has a short-term impact on the provision and coverage of 5G in the region.

Mast with different antennas from cell phone providers | dpa 06/08/2021

Bad cell phone reception Lost in the dead zone Cell phone reception is still patchy in many rural areas.

Early expansion in the Gulf States

Nevertheless, 4G technology will also be pushed back in Western Europe in the coming years, in favor of 5G. While 4G (LTE) is currently the dominant access technology and accounts for 78 percent of all contracts, Ericsson is forecasting a decline to 27 percent by the end of 2026. The 5G penetration will then reach around 69 percent. Older standards such as UMTS (3G) disappear almost completely . This would mean that 5G penetration in Western Europe would be lower than in North America, where it is forecast that by 2026 almost 84 percent of all mobile phone contracts could be based on the 5G standard. A share of 73 percent is expected in the Gulf States. In 2019, these countries were among the first in the world to introduce commercial 5G services. In Northeast Asia, on the other hand, only two thirds (65 percent) of all mobile phone contracts are expected to switch to 5G by 2026. In absolute numbers, Asia is forecast to have the largest number of 5G contracts (1.4 billion). The study expects 340 million 5G contracts for North America. In other regions of the world, including India and Latin America, current 4G technology will remain dominant in 2026. Overall, Ericsson expects the number of 5G cellular connections to grow to 3.5 billion by 2026 – almost 500 million of them in Europe.

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Fast cellular network 5G expansion in big steps Despite the corona pandemic, the 5G expansion in Germany has made rapid progress this year.

More wireless landline connections

5G technology is carried by smartphones, which already make up the majority of mobile data traffic. According to Ericsson, a good half – 53 percent – of mobile data traffic should run over 5G networks by 2026. The Swedish network equipment supplier also predicts that the number of wireless fixed network connections (FWA) will reach almost 180 million by the end of 2026. Up to this point in time, mobile communications will account for around 20 percent of global mobile network data traffic for your own four walls. The wireless fixed network connections via 4G or 5G compete with classic broadband connections such as DSL, cable internet or fiber optic connections. They are especially cheaper to provide on the “last mile” because you do not have to lay cables from the distribution box into the apartments or offices.