GSMA Research Finds Mid-Band 5G Could Deliver $610B GDP Growth in 2030

GSMA Urges Government Action to Prioritise Mid-Band 5G for the Years Ahead

23 February 2022, London: GSMA research finds that 5G mobile network services in the mid-band spectrum range could add more than $610 billion to global GDP in 2030.

This analysis shows the extent to which government policies that prioritise mid-band 5G spectrum can aid economic development strategies for the years ahead – a key area of focus as policymakers and regulators from around the world convene in Barcelona for the forthcoming Ministerial Programme at MWC22.

The new economic forecast predicts that in 2030, 5G spectrum in the 1-7 GHz mid-band range will drive nearly 65% of the overall $960 billion socio-economic value created by 5G.

“Delivering on the 5G promise will require global, regional, and local action from governments and industry to make enough mid-band spectrum available. An average of 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum is needed, and there is work to get there. As the world seeks to deliver a new phase of economic development, government planning for 5G expansion is crucial,” said the GSMA’s Head of Spectrum, Luciana Camargos.

The study also warns of the potential negative economic impact of insufficient spectrum availability, showing that up to $360 billion of 2030 GDP could be lost. If spectrum is constrained to current levels as demand for services grows, increased network congestion and deployment costs will stifle 5G. Network quality and speed will suffer, limiting 5G adoption and its economic impact.

5G will spur innovation across economic sectors

The research shows that 75% of the benefits of mid-band 5G will be through the core 5G use cases of enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) with fibre-like speeds.

Services, including healthcare and education, and manufacturing are expected to yield the highest portion of the economic benefit, with the manufacturing sector accounting for almost 40% of the growth. Public administration, including smart cities, is also expected to impact the economy significantly.

The global impact of mid-band 5G

Around the world, the analysis finds that the impact of mid-band 5G on regional economic growth will be closely aligned. For example, CIS and Latin America will lead with over 0.5% of GDP generated by mid-band 5G in 2030. Meanwhile, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe will see 0.38% GDP growth driven by mid-band 5G while North American GDP will grow 0.36%.

Early adopter 5G markets in Asia Pacific, the Americas, and Europe will account for the most significant share of total global contribution to GDP. The biggest economies and populations will have the largest impact, with East Asia and the Pacific forecast to contribute $218 billion to global GDP.

The GSMA’s recommended spectrum approach

  • Government and industry working together– through WRC-23 and in national processes – to deliver spectrum for fast, affordable services and ensure that 5G can power a new phase of economic growth.
  • Making an average of 2 GHz of mid-band spectrum available for licensed 5G. The most developed communications markets are starting to move closer to this goal, but there is still a shortfall of 1 GHz in many cases.
  • Fulfilling mid-band needs in harmonised ranges including 3.5 GHz, 4.8 GHz, and 6 GHz to deliver economies of scale and lower broadband costs.

To download a copy of the report, “Socio-economic benefits of mid-band 5G services”, please click here.

This press release was edited on 28 April 2022.


About GSMA

The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organisations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today’s biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world’s largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events.

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