By Helena Soderpalm and Supantha Mukherjee
The telecoms equipment maker, which had previously forecast 190 million subscriptions, said it expects China to account for almost 80% of the newly forecast total.
“What has fuelled the growth is China, and that is driven in itself by a strong strategic national focus on 5G in China,” Head of Networks Fredrik Jejdling told Reuters.
Ericsson said in its biannual Mobility Report that 2020 had seen society take a “big leap towards digitalization”, as the pandemic acted as a catalyst for rapid change and highlighted the impact connectivity has on peoples’ daily lives.
About 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, are expected to be in an area that would be covered by 5G by the end of the year, said Jejdling.
Ericsson, which competes with China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia, added that 60% of the world’s population will have access to 5G coverage in 2026.
The new generation of mobile phone technology will bring faster data speeds and support a greater variety of connected devices.
(Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Jan Harvey)