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5G customers predicted to hit 1 billion by 2023

And that's just in Asia and North America, IHS says.

Sprint 5G
The V50 ThinQ is LG and Sprint's first 5G phone.
Lynn La/CNET

5G subscribers are expected to reach 1.1 billion by 2023 across the Asia-Pacific and North America regions, where the next-generation network has been launched. That would be triple the number of subscribers 4G reached in the same five-year time period after launching, IHS Markit said in a report released Wednesday.

5G, already launched in some parts of the US by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, is being tapped by smartphones to provide faster speeds and more capacity. In the Asia-Pacific region, 5G has been launched in Australia and across South Korea.

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North America will have 294 million 5G subscriptions by 2023 while Asia-Pacific will have 785 million, IHS predicts. The rapid uptake of 5G is due to the early release of 5G phones, Elias Aravantinos, principal analyst at IHS Markit, said.

"During 4G's first year of launch, there were only three smartphones available ... 5G boasts at least 20 smartphone designs available for release to the market this year," he said. Aravantinos thinks 5G will be in most phones by 2023.


5G subscriptions five years after its launch.

IHS Markit