5G Americas/Omdia: 2023 global 5G connections reach 1.76 billion

5G connections accelerated in 2023, reaching 1.76 billion globally by end-December, following the addition of 700 million connections in the 12-month period, according to a report from 5G Americas, with data provided by Omdia.

Of course, most of those connections were 5G NSA, which does not offer any 3GPP defined 5G features (including 5G Security and Network Slicing).  According to a Dell’Oro Group report, 12 new 5G SA core networks were deployed in 2023, down from 18 in 2022. The report also notes that AT&T, Verizon, British Telecom EE, Deutsche Telekom, and other Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) did not deploy 5G SA networks in 2023.

Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, said, “The wireless telecommunications industry stands at the cusp of a new era, driven by innovation, collaboration, and a shared vision for a connected future. With Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) continuing to drive consumer broadband demand, new technology milestones are advancing unparalleled connectivity experiences worldwide.”

North America emerged as a leader in 5G adoption, with connections in the region comprising 29% of all North American connections by the end of 2023. Notably, the region experienced a staggering 64% year-over-year growth in 5G connections, adding 77 million new connections to its network. By the end of 2023, North American 5G connections totaled 197 million.

–>This author believes that most of the new 5G connections in the U.S. were FWA from Verizon and T-Mobile.


Latin America also witnessed substantial progress in both 4G LTE and 5G connections, with LTE connections reaching 582 million by the close of 2023, adding 40 million new connections year over year. Moreover, the region embraced the 5G revolution, with 39 million 5G connections established by year-end, setting the stage for further expansion in the years to come.

“4G LTE is still the strongest technology across the region,” said Jose Otero, Vice President of Latin America, and the Caribbean for 5G Americas. “Although various factors, including 5G handset mass market availability and completion of spectrum auctions will see an increase in 5G coverage, and subscriber growth in the coming year.”

Looking ahead, Omdia forecasts paint a picture of the telecommunications landscape we can expect to see throughout this decade. Global 5G connections are projected to skyrocket to 7.9 billion by 2028, with North America forecasted to boast an impressive 700 million 5G connections by the same year.

Omdia principal analyst Kristin Paulin points out, “With this forecast, 5G will reach the global milestone of accounting for more than half of all connections by 2028. For North America, as an early leader, 5G will be more than 80% of connections.”

Additionally, 5G data traffic is expected to be 76% of all technology data traffic as it reaches a staggering 2.6 billion TB (or 2600 EB), with all technology data traffic reaching 3.4 billion TB (or 3400 EB) by 2028, reflecting the exponential growth trajectory of 5G connectivity.

While 5G technology continues to dominate headlines, the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem remains a vital component of the digital revolution. Currently, global IoT subscriptions stand at 3.1 billion, complemented by 6.6 billion smartphone subscriptions. Forecasts suggest that IoT subscriptions will reach 4.5 billion, while smartphone subscriptions will surge to 7.4 billion by 2026, highlighting the evolving nature of connectivity and the interconnectedness of our digital world.

Globally, the number of deployed 5G networks shows strength compared to 4G LTE deployments, and in the case of North America almost matches 4G LTE networks deployed. Currently, there are 314 commercial 5G networks worldwide, and this number is anticipated to grow to 450 by 2025, reflecting significant investments in 5G infrastructure worldwide.

The number of 5G and 4G LTE network deployments as of March 18, 2024, are summarized below:


  • Global: 314
  • North America: 17
  • Latin America and Caribbean: 39


  • Global: 714
  • North America: 18
  • Latin America and Caribbean: 135

Visit www.5GAmericas.org for more information, statistical charts, and a list of LTE and 5G deployments by operator and region. Subscriber and forecast data is provided by Omdia and deployment data by 5G Americas and TeleGeography (GlobalComm).

About 5G Americas: The Voice of 5G and Beyond for the Americas

5G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers.

The organization’s mission is to facilitate and advocate for the advancement of 5G and beyond toward 6G throughout the Americas. 5G Americas is invested in developing a connected wireless community while leading 5G development for all the Americas. 5G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. More information is available at 5G Americas’ website.

5G Americas’ Board of Governors Members include Airspan Networks Inc., Antel, AT&T, Ciena, Cisco, Crown Castle, Ericsson, Liberty Latin America, Mavenir, Nokia, Qualcomm Incorporated, Rogers Communications, Samsung, T-Mobile US, Inc., Telefónica, and WOM.





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