GSMA Study Outlines Mobile Industry Impact and Path to 5G

Mobile operator association GSMA cites North America as one of the most advanced mobile regions in the world, thanks to operator investments in 5G, in a newly released study. There were 321 million North American mobile subscribers in 2018, according to the researchers.

Nearly half of the region’s mobile connections will be running on new 5G networks by 2025, backed by operators spending more than $380 billion on new networks between 2018 and 2025, GSMA says.

The report cites several figures pointing out the strength of the North American market:

  • North American mobile subscribers represent 83% of the population. The number of subscribers is forecast to rise to 85% percent (345 million) of the population by 2025. The U.S. (278 million unique subscribers) was the largest market, followed by Canada (29 million) and the Caribbean (15 million).
  • Mobile technologies and services generated $937 billion (4.2%) of North America’s GDP in 2018, a figure that is expected to increase to almost $1.2 trillion by 2023 (4.8% of GDP).
  • Approximately three quarters of the region’s mobile connections are running on 4G networks today, but that amount will decline over the coming years as the market moves to 5G. New 5G networks are forecast to account for 46% of connections by 2025.
  • The region’s mobile ecosystem directly and indirectly supported 2.3 million jobs and made substantial contributions to the funding of the public sector, with nearly $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.

“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, GSMA director general, in a prepared statement. “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.”



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