Taiwan’s 5G penetration rate is expected to reach 5 to 20 percent a year after telecoms launch commercial services, while consumer uptake would depend on the maturity of 5G industrial chains, Ericsson Taiwan Ltd (台灣愛立信) said.
Taiwan is among the nations introducing the high-speed wireless technology this year, but the availability of 5G-enabled devices, mostly smartphones, is still limited and prices are high, Ericsson Taiwan president Chafic Nassif told a news briefing in Taipei on Tuesday.
That would not compare to Taiwan’s rapid uptake of 4G, which in its first 12 months reached 20 percent penetration rate, the company said.
Nassif said he is positive about Taiwan’s migration to 5G, as more innovative applications would be available for average consumers, and enterprise users soon are to have more stable and secure Internet connectivity.
Taiwan’s major telecoms are to roll out 5G service in the second half of this year, with Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) likely to take the lead on Wednesday next week, followed by Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信) two days later.
Chunghwa Telecom has said that within a year of launch, its number of 5G subscribers would reach 1 million, accounting for less than 10 percent of its total mobile subscribers.
With more 5G networks to come online later this year, the number of 5G subscribers worldwide is forecast to hit 190 million by the end of this year, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report released earlier this month.
The number is to expand to 2.8 billion by 2025, up from the 2.6 billion it estimated in September last year, accounting for about 30 percent of all mobile subscriptions at that time, Ericsson forecast.
“This is mainly due to a faster uptake in China than previously expected,” the report said.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed 5G spectrum auctions in Europe and could lead to a slower uptake of subscriptions in the near term, it said.
The report showed that consumers see resilient networks as vital during the pandemic, with 83 percent of respondents saying that information and communications technology has largely helped them cope with lockdowns.
One-third of consumers plan to invest in 5G and better broadband networks in preparation for a potential second wave of outbreaks, the report said.
Still, 4G LTE would remain the dominant mobile access technology by subscription from this year to 2025, with subscriber numbers likely to peak in 2022 at 5.1 billion, it said.
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