Spending on 5G network infrastructure is expected to top US$26 billion ($36 billion) in 2022, according to an inaugural forecast by analyst firm IDC.

Forthcoming 5G networks, which are expected to be mostly commercially available from 2020, are considered to be a major catalyst for growth in internet of things connections, powering things like connected cars.

IDC said that it expected end users to start to see the first experiences on 5G appear in 2019 - in line with projections by telcos, including some in Australia.

"Early 5G adopters are laying the groundwork for long-term success by investing in 5G [technology],” IDC’s IoT and mobile network infrastructure senior research analyst Patrick Filkins said.

Ericsson is among the vendors touting a bright future for IoT when 5G arrives.

“It is evident that 5G will spur innovation across many industries and provide a platform enabling emergent technologies such as the IoT to become an integral part of our economy and lifestyle,” the vendor said.

“5G is the foundation for realising the full potential of IoT.”