A report by the GSM Association shows that 5G adoption rates are still on track. The report indicates that 5G has gained significant traction and expanded to 24 mobile markets. By January 30, 2020, 46 mobile operators had availed the 5G network within the 24 major economies. Future predictions show that 5G connections will account for about 20% of connections across the world by 2025.
North America leading other 5G mobile markets
The North America edition of the GSMA Mobile Economy report indicated that the region was leading other mobile markets in the adoption of 5G technology. This development was because of increased investment in 5G technology by governments and mobile companies. According to the report, the North America mobile market was adding up to $1 trillion annually in regional GDP from 5G technology. Additionally, the report predicts that close to half of the North American mobile market will be running on 5G by 2025. Mobile operators are busy building new 5G infrastructure across the region to provide more coverage for consumers and enterprises. According to Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, the region was competing fiercely with top contenders in developed Asia such as China, Japan, and South Korea. He added that the technology would usher in the era of intelligent connectivity alongside internet of things, artificial intelligence, and big data. According to him, 5G technology will transform businesses as well as provide a wide array of new exciting services. Granryd said that the new technology will spur the adoption of mobile-based tools in areas such as agriculture and education.
Drivers of 5G network adoption
The Mobile Economy report created by the GSMA intelligence research arm of the GSMA indicates that consumer awareness has propelled the adoption of the 5G network among the mobile markets where the technology is live. Granryd admits that the 5G hype has helped the technology transform into reality. Additionally, the report shows that the growing number of devices has contributed to the uptake of the 5G technology within the mobile markets. Although the number of people willing to switch was still low, there are significant portions of the population who are excited by the technology. In areas such as Australia, Italy, Spain, and the UK, about 35% of people have shown willingness to upgrade. That number was slightly above 40% in the United States.
The future of 4G and other technologies
Despite the rapid growth of the 5G network, 4G will remain the dominant network in the near future. Currently, the 4G network accounts for more than half (52%) of connections across all mobile markets. By 2025, the technology will contribute to about 56% of all mobile network connections. Although the number of unique subscribers in mobile networks is falling, 5.2 billion users still rely on mobile service. This figure represents 67% of the total population.
Contribution of the 5G network to the global economy
According to the Mobile economy report, mobile technologies and services contributed to 4.7% of the global mobile economy during the last year. This output includes that of mobile operators, device manufacturers, and internet companies. The value addition of the network was approximate $4.1 trillion. The contribution will grow up to 4.9% of the global GDP, which is equivalent to $4.9 trillion. The 5G industry already supported over 30 million jobs in the previous year alone. In funding the public sector, taxation from the 5G technology amounted to $490 billion.
The vast contribution of 5G technology is the reason behind the fierce competition among countries to become the dominant players in the sector. Controlling the technology will allow countries to reap the maximum benefits in terms of contribution to the economy through GDP, job opportunities, as well as government revenues from taxes. That might be the reason the United States is working hard to undercut China as the leading supplier of 5G equipment amid accusations and counter-accusations of spying.