GSMA's research arm now predicts that the US and Canada will lead on 5G growth and adoption through 2025, representing as much as 49-percent of the global market by that year. In fact, according to the firm's last Mobile Economy report, roughly 200 million of the region's expected 328 million unique mobile subscribers will be made on the next-generation networking technology over the next six years. Conversely, Europe and Asia markets are only estimated to grow to around a 30-percent adoption rate over the same period. What's more, that regional growth will equate to around an 86-percent penetration rate for mobile subscriptions and individual SIM connections – not including IoT – will grow to 109-percent of the region's population at of the region at 419 million connections. The total smartphone adoption rate will land at around 91-percent while IoT connections will grow to 5.9 billion. 5G and 4G will comprise approximately 94-percent of all mobile connections in the region.
Breaking the figures down further, the US is predicted to make up the bulk of that growth with 297 million unique subscribers compared to Canada's 32 million. The country will also widen gaps in terms of leading network connections from a difference of 2-percent in 4G connections to around an 8-percent lead in 5G. The trend carries over in overall smartphone adoption with the gap growing by 5-percent, leaving Canada at an adoption rate of 81-percent as compared to the US's 92-percent. However, Canada will close the gap in terms of subscribership penetration. Moving from 76-percent to 81-percent penetration compared to the 2-percent growth for mobile connections in the US over that period.
The growth is attributed by GSMA Intelligence in large part to increased competition in the US, with the big four mobile operators entering into an all-out war to release the most appealing unlimited data plan. That battle is ongoing and has extended with promises of much higher bandwidth from the incoming 5G. In short, that's led to further expenditures from mobile carriers trying to get the upper hand in both 5G advancements and control over content to be delivered on the platform. Moreover, IoT platforms and services targeting the enterprise sector are spurring rapid growth in support of the resulting 'startup ecosystem' and companies are actively pursuing mergers to keep up with their rivals' ambitions.