5G to Generate Trillions for Global Economy


5G for connected cities will generate approximately US$17 trillion in revenue by 2035, according to a new report by ABI Research and commissioned by InterDigital, a mobile technology research and development specialist.

The study, titled ‘5G urban development: Debunking the capex myth and unlocking new growth’, highlighted increased revenue opportunities in three separate areas as a result of 5G.

It predicts that approximately US$2.4 trillion will be raised in direct contributions, mostly driven by end-user subscriptions for connectivity services – this compares with the $1.1 trillion raised by 4G.

$3.2 trillion will be raised in productivity gains, which refer specifically to better workforce efficiency due to the availability of connectivity throughout cities.

A recent Port Technology technical paper looked at the impact of wireless networks on the global economy 

Furthermore, another $866 billion will be made in indirect contributions, which includes increases in the supply chain devices, infrastructure applications, advertising and other products or services.

According to the survey’s findings, early commercial 5G deployments have already been announced, with examples across the globe in the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom, supported by infrastructure vendors that have started to 5G-capable network equipment.

The first 5G-related use cases will be fuelled by enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), but advanced and use-case enabling 5G features, such as Massive Machine Type Communications (MMTC), will start to appear as early as 2020.

Henry Tirri, CTO, InterDigital, had this to say: “We expect 5G deployment to begin to place huge pressures on mobile operators over the next couple of years as they look to compete to capitalize on its revenue potential.

“Many are trying to understand how they will monetize this next generation of wireless technology, and most importantly, how they’ll deliver ROI from it. 

“But while there may still be several questions and doubts surrounding 5G monetization, these findings clearly demonstrate the growth opportunities that 5G is set to bring about.

“While CAPEX and OPEX investments will be high, it is evident that 5G technology will radically change our ability to deliver new and innovative consumer and enterprise services, and help dictate the trajectory of our future global economy.”

Dimitris Mavrakis, ABI Research, spoke of the importance to the future global economy: “We have reached a critical point today where our global economy is heavily reliant on our ability to deliver new technological services.

“5G has the potential to completely change our everyday lives, but only if mobile service providers can roll out 5G in a way that makes economical and logical sense – that is, to start with mobile broadband connectivity deployments in urban areas to create the right use cases that will justify investments in CAPEX and OPEX.”

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