MWC stands for Mobile Word Congress - and is organized by the GSMA, the global industry association, first formed in 1995 to promote 2G GSM digital phones. The show was first held in 1987, and in 2019 attracted over 100,000 to the Fira Barcelona Gran Via exhibition halls in Barcelona, Spain. There are now additional MWC spin-off shows in Shanghai and Los Angeles.
2 March 2022, Barcelona: According to the GSMA, 5G connections will surpass 1 billion in 2022 and 2 billion by 2025. By the end of 2025, 5G will account for over a fifth of total mobile connections, and more than two in five people globally will live within reach of a 5G network, according to The Mobile Economy Report 2022 from the GSMA.
This unprecedented growth represents the fastest generational roll-out for the mobile industry compared to 3G and 4G. By comparison, 18 months after its launch, 5G accounted for more than 5.5% of mobile connections – neither 3G nor 4G exceeded 2.2% penetration in the same time.
Today there are nearly 200 live 5G networks in seventy countries, including 68 operators providing 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services and 23 delivering Stand Alone (SA) 5G services. All this supports consumer demand propelled by an ever-growing portfolio of 5G-enabled smartphones across various price points.
“5G accounts for a much larger share of global mobile connections than 3G or 4G did at the same point in their lifecycles. Momentum has been boosted by factors including innovative plans, video streaming services, rising 5G handset sales, and network coverage expansions,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “In addition, the launch of 5G services in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa over the last year means that the technology is now available in every region of the world, so we are set to see more growth and more transformation for services.”
Early network capability initiatives are underway to support the increasing number of innovative consumer and enterprise use cases across the 5G Era. These include the 5G utilisation of multiple sub-3GHz spectrum bands, 5G mmWave, 5G Advanced, and Private Networks.