From the creation of the first 2G mobile networks in the 1990s to the advent of 5G, the development of new mobile data transmission technologies has continued to accelerate. It took 12 years for 3G, introduced in the early 2000s, to reach one billion users worldwide. In comparison, 4G spread three times faster, reaching the one billion user mark four years after its introduction in 2010.
What about 5G? According to estimates published in Statista's new report, A Mobile Connected World, its adoption could be even faster. 5G is expected to reach the one billion user mark within 3.5 years. The rapid spread of the technology is due in particular to its relatively affordable cost, the ease of its deployment (use of the 4G core network) and its numerous applications for technologies like connected objects, AI or autonomous vehicles. By comparison, older, non-mobile technologies took much longer to reach one billion users. For example, debit cards were off to a slow start and reached the one billion mark 41 years after their introduction, while online banking and smartphones took 19 and 16 years, respectively.