North America’s Mobile Ecosystem Adding $1 Trillion Per Year to Regional GDP
Los Angeles: A new GSMA study has highlighted North America as one of the most advanced mobile regions in the world – a result of significant operator investments in 5G. The 2019 North America edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy report series – published today at MWC Los Angeles – forecasts that almost half of the region’s mobile connections will be running on new 5G networks by 2025. This is being fuelled by operator spending on new networks, which is forecast to total more than $380 billion (Capex) between 2018 and 2025. 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 report 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.
The new report ‘The Mobile Economy, North America 2019’ is authored by GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA. To access the full report and related infographics, please visit: https://www.gsma.com/r/mobileeconomy/northamerica/
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators and nearly 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.
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1 A unique mobile subscriber represents an individual that can account for multiple SIM connections.
2 There were 400 million SIM connections in North America in 2018, excluding cellular IoT, forecast to increase to 438 million by 2025.