Mobile internet connections on 4G networks are quicker than the internet connections that many people have at home. What used to be unthinkable in the early days of the mobile internet is now reality. Streaming HD video or downloading music, apps and games on the go without a wi-fi connection is no problem on today’s wireless networks. According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, the number of 4G (LTE) smartphone subscriptions worldwide will have risen to more than 4 billion by the end of this year. The next evolution of wireless connections is already on the horizon though: 5G.
While Samsung and several other smartphone makers have released their first 5G handsets this year, Apple has ignored the new standard for this year's iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, but is reportedly planning to bring 5G to its premium iPhones in 2020. According to latest estimates by Ericsson, however, 5G technology won’t really take off until 2021/2022 anyway, suggesting that Apple didn't risk too much by holding out on the new standard this year. Ericsson puts global 5G smartphone subscriptions at 12 million by the end of this year and at 84 million by the end of 2020. Two years later, however, the researchers are expecting the worldwide 5G population to have risen to 645 million.