In its latest Mobility Report, Ericsson has doubled its forecast for cellular IoT connections since its last guess in November 2017.

Scott Bicheno

June 12, 2018

2 Min Read
Ericsson doubles cellular IoT forecast

In its latest Mobility Report, Ericsson has doubled its forecast for cellular IoT connections since its last guess in November 2017.

The networking vendor now reckons there will be 3.5 billion IoT connections by 2023, driven mainly by China. Unsurprisingly those connections are expected to be mostly of the NB-IoT variety, with a bit of Cat-M1 thrown in. Apparently over 60 cellular IoT networks have already been launched worldwide, with North America focusing on logistics, while China is more into smart cities and smart agriculture.


Moving on to 5G Ericsson notes that the first 5G commercial rollouts are expected later this year and the whole thing should ramp pretty quickly after that. North America looks set to be first but things will really pick up once China gets involved soon after. By end of 2023, almost 50% of all mobile subscriptions in North America are forecast to be for 5G, followed by North East Asia at 34%, and Western Europe at 21%.


Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, says: “2018 is the year 5G networks go commercial as well as for large-scale deployments of cellular IoT,” said Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson. “These technologies promise new capabilities that will impact people’s lives and transform industries. This change will only come about through the combined efforts of industry players and regulators aligning on spectrum, standards and technology.”

As ever there are a bunch of other stats in the report, tracking current mobile connection levels as well as anticipating future ones. They mainly reinforce known trends such as the fact that nearly all growth is coming from Asia and that video is increasingly dominating data traffic. This chart showing the evolution of LTE-A across global networks is quite interesting.


About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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