Global 5G connections reached 1.2 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2023, up by 157 million from the fourth quarter of 2022, and are still expected to hit 1.9 billion by the end of the year, according to the latest data from Omdia and 5G Americas. 

The number should amount to 6.8 billion by the end of 2027, adding up by nearly 1 billion every year as buildouts accelerate worldwide. The figure is more than earlier forecasts. 

The penetration of 5G should amount to 36 percent in North America in Q1 and will reach 601 million connections by the end of 2027, an increase of around 100 million per year. A total of 14 million new 5G connections came online during Q1. By 2025, 5G is expected to be the dominant mobile technology in North America. 

Latin America and the Caribbean added 553 million 4G connections in Q1, up 2.1 percent from the previous quarter and reflecting the equivalent of 11 million new LTE subscriptions. By the end of 2023, the region is projected to quadruple its number of 5G connections to 62 million. The region is seen hitting 407 million 5G connections by 2027.

A total of 267 5G and 703 LTE commercial networks were deployed by 15 June 2023, with the number forecast at 386 by the of 2023 and 413 by the end of 2025, data from TeleGeography and 5G Americas. At mid-June, there were 14 5G networks deployed in North America and 28 in Caribbean and Latin America, with 4G networks rolled out at 17 and 129, respectively.

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