5G (and 4G) Snapshot Worldwide
Forecast published by Ericsson, Sweden in November 2023
5G Plan is 4½ billion in 2028, currently 1½ billion

LTE=4g, WCDMA/HSPA=3g, GSM and GPRS and others=2g. 2g is switched off in Australia. 3g is being switched off in 2024.

At the close of 2023, 4G subscribers worldwide are still very high at 5.1 billion, 5G 1½ billion, 3G 850 million and 2G 890 million.

The top 100 tower companies in the world control and manage over 1½ million buildings that house shared telecommunications infrastructure. This figure does not include China (2 million) or Russia (85,000).

In the US (307,000) the carriers have effectively exited the tower business. Most sold their towers to companies like American Tower (AMT) and Crown Castle. They construct, maintain and operate the towers, and lease space back to the carriers.

In Australia in 2017 there were 21,472 base stations. 7772 towers were owned by Telstra with other owners NBN, Optus, Vodafone, Ericcson, Nokia (and others). In 2021 Optus auctioned off all its towers. The towers are currently erected and maintained by subcontractors - Comstar, Westcom and Pacific Towers. With 5G poles, many are owned by local governments, and Transport departments.

In Australia statistics as at 31 January 2023

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