In India, 5G subscriptions will surpass 350 million, accounting for 27 per cent of all mobile subscriptions in 2026, Swedish gear maker Ericsson said in a report on Monday.

The projections come on the heels of another Fitch Ratings report that said that 5G spectrum auction India could be delayed if the government focused on a 4G auction next year.

Globally, more than 1 billion people will have access to 5G coverage by the end of 2020, according to the latest edition of the "Ericsson Mobility Report."

The report projects that four out of every ten mobile subscriptions in 2026 will be 5G.

Current 5G uptake in subscriptions and population coverage confirms the technology as deploying the fastest of any generation of mobile connectivity.

In 2026, 60 percent of the world's population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion.

"This year has seen society take a big leap towards digitalisation. The pandemic has highlighted the impact connectivity has on our lives and has acted as a catalyst for rapid change," Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, said in a statement.

"5G is entering the next phase, when new devices and applications make the most out of the benefits it provides, while service providers continue to build out 5G. Mobile networks are a critical infrastructure for many aspects of everyday life, and 5G will be key to future economic prosperity."

In India, the report estimates that 4G will continue to be the dominant technology in 2026 accounting for 63 per cent of mobile subscriptions.

In India, the average monthly mobile data usage per smartphone continues to show robust growth, boosted by the rapid adoption of 4G and people working from home during Covid-19.

The reliance of people on their mobile networks to stay connected as well as work from home during Covid-19 has contributed to the average traffic per smartphone user increasing from 13.5GB per month in 2019 to 15.7GB per month in 2020, said the report.

The average traffic per smartphone is expected to further increase to around 37GB per month in 2026, it added.

"5G has the potential to transform industries and society at large -- with use cases such as smart manufacturing, smart cities and advanced healthcare applications, just to mention a few," said Nitin Bansal, Head of Network Solutions for the Market Area South east Asia, Oceania and India.

"The companies and countries taking an active role in shaping and securing the 5G ecosystem in the early years have great potential to lead use case scaling once the market takes off," he added.