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Global 5G Users Reach 1.5 Billion, Driving Demand for Terminal Devices

The latest report from Ericsson, one of the world’s leading telecommunications equipment manufacturers, reveals a remarkable surge in global 5G mobile users. The number has reached an unprecedented high of 1.5 billion this year, representing a staggering 50% increase from the previous year. This surge in 5G users has ignited a strong momentum in the market, particularly benefiting Taiwanese manufacturers.

Yesterday, Ericsson unveiled its “Ericsson Mobile Trends Report,” providing updated forecast data on the global 5G mobile user base for this year. Despite the prevailing global economic slowdown and geopolitical challenges in certain markets, telecommunications operators worldwide continue to invest in 5G infrastructure. Notably, the growth rate of 5G users in North America and China has surpassed expectations. By the end of 2022, North America boasted a 41% 5G penetration rate, securing its position as the global leader. Additionally, the revenue of telecom operators in the top 20 5G markets has exhibited continuous growth.

India has embarked on an ambitious network deployment as part of its “Digital India” initiative. Leveraging its early adoption of 5G technology, Northeast Asia has allocated substantial resources to develop a comprehensive industrial ecosystem and drive multiple services. Consequently, Northeast Asia has taken the lead in terms of 5G population coverage and penetration rates. Meanwhile, the mainland market is focused on extensive 5G deployment, with more than one-third of mobile users already utilizing 5G networks.

Ericsson’s report also delivers positive news for the stagnating smartphone market. The projections indicate that global smartphone shipments will resume growth in the latter half of 2023. Currently, there are over 870 5G-enabled smartphones available worldwide, and it is anticipated that 5G devices will account for 62% of all smartphone shipments in 2023.

Industry insiders highlight the explosive growth of global 5G users, with an expected 50% increase this year. Considering that individuals tend to possess more than one 5G-enabled mobile device on average, the demand for terminal devices is projected to escalate even further, presenting lucrative opportunities for hardware manufacturers.

Among Taiwanese factories, MediaTek and Wenmao have emerged as the frontrunners in the 5G arena, securing a competitive advantage. MediaTek boasts a comprehensive range of 5G chip products, which have been embraced by nearly all non-Apple mobile brands. This success has translated into impressive market performance in high-end regions like Europe and the United States, as well as emerging markets such as India. Consequently, MediaTek is poised to reap the benefits of the global 5G user explosion.

MediaTek has experienced two consecutive months of revenue growth, successfully meeting its financial forecast for the second quarter, thereby ending three consecutive quarters of decline. Chairman Cai Mingjie predicts a relatively slow growth rate for the smartphone market this year but anticipates a rebound in the coming year. In line with economic cycles, the growth momentum is expected to gradually recover over the next two years.

Wenmao, on the other hand, currently commands a 70% share of the global power amplifier (PA) market. Virtually all RF component designers are customers of Wenmao. The company stands as one of the few manufacturers capable of producing highly integrated 5G PAs today. As the demand for 5G hardware surges, Wenmao’s shipments are showing promising signs, positioning the company to enjoy the dividends of the global 5G user explosion.

In June, Wenmao’s revenue reached 1.506 billion yuan, marking the highest point in the past year with a monthly increase of 10.35%. Notably, low-end operations saw an increase of nearly 73%, surpassing expectations for the recovery of the PA industry. As the demand for 5G technology continues to intensify, the pace of recovery in the third quarter is set to accelerate.

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