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Why 5G Matters in Driving Asia Pacific’s Data Centre Demand

Hideaki Suzuki • 25/05/2021
Hideaki Suzuki, Director of Research and Head of Business Development Services, Japan, notes that Asia Pacific will lead 5G demand with more than 65% of 5G mobile subscription growth expected over the next five years, consequently driving demand for data centres across the region. 

The introduction of 4G (or LTE) a little over a decade ago transformed the way we communicate. It’s incredibly fast speeds, lower latency and more bandwidth paved the way for the smartphone revolution that introduced video calling, content streaming services and many more e-commerce and mobile applications that have become a part of our daily lives. And in the process, nearly half of the global population became smartphone owners. 

Now we are about to embrace 5G, which will further increase communication capabilities to be instantaneous on a seamless and even faster system that has 100 times more traffic capacity than 4G, 10 times lower latency and 10 times more efficient connection density. This next generation of mobile technology being invested in around the world will allow for more monumental technological innovations, like autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, smart cities and much, much more, become widespread and accessible.  

How will 5G impact data centres? More data will flow freely between more people, more places and more devices at speeds and volumes not seen before and the exponential growth in data traffic that will result will significantly drive demand for data centres. According to Ericsson’s estimates, 5G is expected to account for about 30% of the total mobile subscriptions in 2024, and it will reach to 44% in 2026. It also forecasts that more than 65% of this 5G mobile subscription growth is expected to come from the Asia Pacific region, continuing the flow of demand for data centres into the region. 

We are already starting to see this materialise in some Asian markets with South Korea now having over 80 cities 5G-covered and China launching 260 million 5G terminal connections. Asia is truly leading the world in the 5G space, and it is conceivable that the rate of technological innovation we will experience in the future as a result of 5G will potentially outdo the advancement in the last decade brought on by 4G, in half the time. 

For more information around what’s next for data centres across Asia Pacific, visit our data centre update page, which includes a webinar replay where our industry experts share their insights on key industry trends both globally and regionally. 

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