5G: Subscribers, Traffic and Revenue
This is the current update for ABI Research's expanding view for the 5G market view for Consumer Subscriber Enhanced Mobile Broadband, and that is primarily the mmWave rollout. This market data includes the supporting numbers used in "The Case for 5G" webinar and accompanying slide presentation. ABI Research examines its historical database for indicators of technology diffusion for 2G, 3G, and 4G to indicate accelerating trends in subscribers, traffic, and revenue.
Based on this and a specific assessment of over 60 leading countries, ABI Research predicts the subscriber uptake through 2025 and aggregate into regional summaries. NA, AP, and WE are leading markets for 5G uptake.
ABI Research also considers the historical data for traffic growth. It is a well-known fact that subscribers consume more data when high data rates are available. ABI Research looks at the mass-market usage and not the individual peak rates available with 5G technology, and conservatively estimates that a 5G subscriber (i.e., mmWave) will show a 5X increase in total data usage, as some of the time the subscriber will be covered by 3G and 4G data servcies. During the ramp up, 5G cannibalizes the 4G traffic and ABI avoids double counting.
Again, we look to the historical archives of ABI Research to determine marketwide data traffic and revenues. Here, a regional industry view is computed based on total data revenue / total data traffic to yield US$ / gigabyte. ABI Research then plots US$ / gigabyte versus cumulative data traffic, from 2G to 4G, including forecasting to 2020. As shown in the webinar Powerpoint referenced above, this is found to be quite linear. ABI then uses that industrywide learning curve to forecast revenues associated with 5G based on all of the above. ABI forecasts consumer revenue for Enhanced Mobile Broadband to reach US$257 billion in 2025.