Wednesday, 23 October 2019 12:26

North America a global leader in 5G, says GSMA

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North America as one of the most advanced mobile regions in the world as a result of significant operator investments in 5G, according to a newly published study from mobile industry body GSMA.

The 2019 North America edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy report series just published forecasts that almost half of the North American region’s mobile connections will be running on new 5G networks by 2025 - fuelled by operator spending on new networks, which is forecast to total more than US$380 billion (Capex) between 2018 and 2025.

According to the GSMA, these investments are increasingly being focused on building-out 5G coverage across the region, enabling a range of new services for consumers and enterprise.

“Our new study highlights how the North America region is vying for global 5G leadership with pioneering mobile markets such as China, Japan and South Korea,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA.

“Investments in next-generation networks and services by operators has helped create an industry that is now worth a trillion dollars a year to the region’s economy, providing a platform for innovation, jobs and economic growth.”

The new market report, authored by GSMA Intelligence reveals that:

  • There were 321 million unique mobile subscribers1 in North America in 2018, representing 83 per cent of the population. The number of subscribers is forecast to rise to 345 million (85 per cent of the population) by 2025.
  • The US is by far the largest market in North America (278 million unique subscribers), followed by Canada (29 million) and the Caribbean (15 million).
  • Around three quarters of the region’s mobile connections2 are running on 4G networks.
  • The share of 4G connections will decline over the coming years as the market moves to 5G. New 5G networks are forecast to account for 46 per cent of connections by 2025.
  • Mobile technologies and services generated 4.2 per cent of North America’s GDP in 2018, equivalent to $937 billion in economic value. This economic impact is forecast to increase to almost $1.2 trillion by 2023 (4.8% of GDP).
  • The region’s mobile ecosystem also supported 2.3 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made substantial contributions to the funding of the public sector, with almost $123 billion raised through taxation last year (not including spectrum fees).
  • North America’s mobile sector is on track to generate $280 billion in revenue this year, a result of high levels of consumer engagement and spending on mobile services.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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