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Why 5G will change the world – and generate $12.3trillion



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5G on digital screen
5G on digital screen

The arrival of 5G will change the world for everyone in the same way that electricity and the combustion engine once did.

That’s the verdict of a new survey which predicts that 5th generation mobile networks and wireless systems – the next telecoms standards beyond the current 4G – will create 22 million jobs and produce up to $12.3trillion worth of goods and services by 2035.

Rather than faster connection speeds, 5G aims at higher capacity than 4G, allowing more mobile broadband users in an area and consumption of higher or unlimited data quantities in gigabyte per month and user. This would make it feasible for a large portion of the population to stream high-definition media many hours a day with their mobile devices, when out of reach of wi-fi hotspots.

The study, by Qualcomm, which has a base on Cambridge Business Park, included an economic impact statement that demonstrates 5G will be a world game changer for everyone by 2035.

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said: “These respected researchers confirmed our strong belief that 5G will be a fundamental game changer.

“We’ve been hard at work helping create some of the key technologies and applications that will make 5G a reality, pushing the boundaries of LTE (Long Term Evolution), collaborating with industry leaders and spearheading the critical research behind the next-generation global wireless standard.”

According to the study, in 2035, when 5G’s full economic benefit should be realised across the globe, a broad range of industries – from retail to education, transportation to entertainment – could produce up to $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services enabled by 5G. The 5G value chain itself is seen as generating up to $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2035, supporting as many as 22 million jobs.

Over time, 5G will boost real global GDP growth by $3 trillion dollars cumulatively from 2020 to 2035, roughly the equivalent of adding an economy the size of India to the world in today’s dollars.

Complementing the study, polling by PSB Research confirms that business decision-makers and opinion leaders around the globe expect 5G to bring widespread benefits for society overall, enabling new products and services, increasing productivity and letting new industries to emerge.

David Teece, Tusher professor of global business at the Haas School of Business, University of California in Berkeley, said: “I’ve spent many years studying the impact of general purposes technologies, and it’s clear that 5G will propel mobile into that category, assuring the technology’s long-term impact on society and continued growth for decades.”

Notably, the study indicates that 5G will catapult mobile into the exclusive realm of technologies like electricity and the automobile that provide the foundation or massive innovation, give rise to new industries and benefit entire economies. This is predicted to happen as 5G advances mobile from connecting people to people and information to a unified fabric connecting people to everything.

Qualcomm’s technologies powered the smartphone revolution. The company pioneered 3G and 4G, and is leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Its products are revolutionising industries, including automotive, computing, IT and healthcare, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined



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