Research and consultancy business GlobalData expects 5G data usage to generate monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of $14.15 (£10.20) in 2026, which is more than double 4G’s monthly ARPU of $5.48.
Overall, the company expects a total of 3.9 billion 5G mobile subscriptions globally by the end of 2026 – that’s 35.1% of all mobile subscriptions – with 5G delivering service revenues of $609 billion (£439 bn).
Lynnette Luna, Principal Analyst with GlobalData, said “Although we have not yet seen all that 5G is capable of in early deployments, the technology has a multitude of future opportunities for telecom operators. Not only will capacity bring down the per-bit cost for carriers, the basic cost efficiencies that 5G brings will enable operators and developers alike to create new applications for the technology as it becomes to mature and develop. This growing innovation will contribute to an expected rise in 5G mobile subscriptions worldwide”
GlobalData notes that operators in some markets are offering advanced technology and services as part of a 5G bundle. Vodafone is promoting Nreal Light smart glasses with an interest-free purchase price in some 5G European markets, while other 5G operators – including Telia in Sweden and EE in the UK – are selling cloud gaming services.