Cisco Projection: 10% of Mobile Connections Supported by 5G by 2023

And M2M is on its way to accounting for half of mobile devices and connections.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

February 18, 2020

3 Min Read
AI, IoT and 5G converge

5G and M2M communication are driving a wave of mobility growth, according to Cisco.

Cisco’s Annual Internet Report forecasts that 5G will account for 10.6% of all mobile connections by 2023. And of the approximate 30 billion devices and connections Cisco says will exist in 2023, 45% will be mobile. Smartphones will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7%, but M2M connections will grow faster to 14.7 billion in 2023. That’s 50% of the world’s connected devices and connections — up from 33% in 2018.

Consumer will account for more devices and connections (74%) than the business segment, but the latter will grow at a 12% CAGR compared to consumer’s 9.1%.


Source: Cisco Annual Internet Report 2018-2023

“What we are seeing from our research is a continuous rise in internet users, devices, connections, and more demand on the network than we could have imagined,” said Roland Acra, Cisco’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. “The insights and knowledge gained by our Annual Internet Report are helping global businesses, governments and service providers prepare and secure networks for the ongoing growth in connections and applications.”

The study said consumers, SMBs and enterprises increasingly rely on mobile applications, as evidenced by the prediction that there will be 299.1 billion downloaded mobile apps by 2023.


Source: Cisco Annual Internet Report 2018-2023

“For the past 50 years, each decade introduced a new mobile technology with cutting-edge innovations,” the study’s authors wrote. “Mobile bandwidth requirements have evolved from voice calls and texting to ultra-high-definition (UHD) video and a variety of augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) applications. Consumers and business users worldwide continue to create new demands and expectations for mobile networking.”

Cisco’s report also focused on increasing internet speeds. An average 5G connection will connect at a speed of 575 megabits per second, according to the study. Cisco projected connection speeds in general to increase significantly from 2018-2023, with mobile connections going from 13 Mbps to 44 Mbps, Wi-Fi connections going from 30 Mbps to 92 Mbps and broadband speeds going from 46 Mbps to 110 Mbps.


Source: Cisco Annual Internet Report 2018-2023

The study also projected the number Wi-Fi hotspots to grow by a rate of four from 169 million in 2018 to 628 million in 2023. Wi-Fi and cybersecurity – in addition to mobility – were prominent themes in the study. View Cisco’s website for a list of links and resources pertaining to its recent report.


About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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