The pandemic has prompted Stockholm-based telecommunications technology firm Ericsson to up its forecast for worldwide 5G subscriptions to 2.8 billion by 2025, the company said in a live webinar on Monday (May 11).
The company had originally forecast 2.6 billion but the demand “is greater than ever” for digital connection soared as people working from home became “the new normal.”
“We’re witnessing transformative changes just in the last two months,” Patrik Cerwall, head of strategic marketing at Ericsson, said in the “Unboxed Office” event that was broadcast live on Periscope and rebroadcast on LinkedIn.
Unlike most industry sectors that are experiencing massive losses due to the pandemic, the telecom sector is seeing a big uptick in demand as more people work remotely due to stay-home mandates. The rise in telemed is also contributing to the increased demand.
Ericsson President and Chief Executive Officer Börje Ekholm said he was proud of his employees, “… the ones who are helping us connect the world … we are, and will continue to be, a significant company on the world stage.”
Ericsson and its chief rivals — Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei — are competing for customers wanting to upgrade their networks to 5G.
“More than ever, connectivity is key. With the spread of COVID-19, fixed and mobile telecommunications networks have become an even bigger part of the critical infrastructure, showing the importance of quality in the connectivity,” Ekholm said.
Amy McCune, vice president and chief operations officer of Ericsson North America, told Karen Webster in a recent PYMNTS interview that shifts in lifestyle, work and healthcare are accelerating the demand for the next generation of wireless communications technologies.
In a separate interview with PYMNTS, Alex Gellman, CEO of Vertical Bridge, which owns and manages communications infrastructure across the U.S. including wireless and broadcast towers, said the pandemic is likely to spur the evolution of 5G over the longer term.
Paul Scanlan, chief technology officer of Huawei, said in an interview last month with Karen Webster that 5G is not just about speed; it is about efficiency.