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5G spectrum could boost global GDP by $565bn

12th December 2018 BY: Natasha Odendaal
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

A new study by GSMA shows that the release of the right fifth-generation (5G) spectrum could generate an additional $565-billion in global gross domestic product (GDP) and $152-billion in tax revenue from 2020 to 2034.

Next-generation 5G services, leveraging sufficient millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum across different sectors, will improve access to healthcare, education and mobility, while reducing pollution and increasing safety.

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The report, ‘Socioeconomic benefits of 5G services provided in mmWave bands’ shows that mmWave, which carries the highest-capacity 5G services, will be responsible for 25% of overall GDP growth from the next-generation technology.

The economies of scale derived from spectrum harmonisation will stimulate even faster growth, GSMA states.

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“The early leads already being established in 5G in the Asia Pacific and Americas regions are expected to generate the greatest share of GDP attributed to mmWave 5G, at $212-billion and $190-billion, respectively. Europe is forecast to have the highest percentage of GDP growth attributable to mmWave of any region, with 2.9%,” the report indicates.

Regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean could see growth in GDP contribution from mmWave 5G applications exceed 65% a year from 2026 until 2034.

However, government support for the identification of mmWave for the mobile industry at the next International Telecommunications Union World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19), to be held in Egypt in October and November next year, is imperative.

“It is critical for governments to recognise the importance of the mmWave aspects of 5G when making decisions at the upcoming WRC-19. Making the right decisions now on spectrum will be vital to stimulating the rapid growth of economies, especially in developing markets, in the coming decade,” said GSMA head of spectrum Brett Tarnutzer.

“Only mmWave spectrum has the capacity to support the innovative services expected from the highest performance of 5G, and only the mobile ecosystem has the technical expertise and record in collaboration to deliver them at a price acceptable to consumers and businesses around the world.”

When discussions surrounding new mmWave bands for mobile get under way at WRC-19, GSMA recommends supporting the 26 GHz, 40 GHz and 66 GHz to 71 GHz bands for mobile.

mmWave can deliver very high data transfer rates and ultra-reliable, low-latency capabilities, which will support new use cases and deliver the benefits of 5G to consumers and businesses around the world, he noted.

The study, which was undertaken by consulting firm TMG on behalf of GSMA, reports on the cumulative impact of mmWave 5G.

The report estimates that global GDP will grow by $42.15-trillion over the period from 2020 to 2034, with mmWave-enabled 5G contributing 1.3% of GDP growth.

The contribution of 5G from 2020 to 2034 is $2.2-trillion, representing 5.3% of total GDP growth. 

EDITED BY: Creamer Media Reporter
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