5G-enabled sales to surpass €400bn and offer huge green gains by 2030

Commissioned by global telco, study in five European geographies finds hugely positive socio-economic impact from 5G roll-out in terms of enabled sales, employment and reduced greenhouse gas emissions

A study from research house Omdia, commissioned by Orange, has highlighted a number of substantial benefits that a 5G-enabled world could bring by 2030. These include enabling sales, creating jobs and avoiding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A quarter of the projected €407bn in 5G-enabled sales could be seen in the manufacturing industry.

The study examined 5G in terms of creating sales and employment opportunities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in five European geographies – France, Spain, Belgium, Poland and Romania.

Overall, the study forecast that by 2030, across the five markets, there would be €407bn in 5G-enabled sales and the creation of 1.034 million jobs. Omdia predicted that by 2030, in manufacturing alone, 5G-enabled sales would top €100bn, with 5G-enabled sales representing 3.3% of total sales in all five countries.

It added that workstyle distribution across 16 industries indicated that a fifth of the global workforce – 635 million people – demonstrate workstyles in occupations that 5G can directly enhance. Of these, 265,000 were to be found in public services and defence, 259,000 in communications and information, 90,000 in transportation and storage, 83,000 in finance and insurance, 54,000 in utilities and 47,000 in manufacturing.

5G is seen as the key for the Orange to achieve its objective of being carbon net-zero by 2040, delivered through the transformation of its networks, which represent around 84% of its energy consumption. The global telco said the results of the study supported its current strategy and push to develop new services and use cases that have a neutral or even positive environmental impact.

The study quantified the impact of 5G on the environment as 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent avoided – the equivalent of emissions from the cities of Paris and Marseille. It calculated that as much as 33 million tonnes of GHG emissions would be avoided by 5G uses in all sectors of the economy through the reduction of emissions and increased efficiency in energy consumption – equivalent to the emissions of a city like Berlin.

In the consumer and enterprise segments, Omdia found that 5G-enabled smartphones and other devices would improve existing applications and services, and enable new ones, that help to reduce physical travel and thus reduce emissions, with current examples including mobile banking, mobile shopping, video calling and enterprise collaboration.

It also expected in the enterprise segment that 5G-enabled internet-of-things (IoT) devices, platforms and services will improve efficiency in ways that reduce travel time and energy/fuel use, thus reducing emissions. Examples cited included include asset tracking, energy monitoring, smart homes, smart buildings, smart cities, smart manufacturing and smart agriculture. However, the analyst cautioned that in enterprise IoT, emissions reductions driven by 5G specifically would be limited by the adoption of 5G in certain IoT segments, given competition from a host of other IoT technologies.

Looking at impact case studies of the effect of 5G in differing territories by 2030, Omdia forecast that in France, the 5G use case of industrial automation in mission-critical services would have a high impact in generating 5G-enabled sales in the manufacturing sector. It said 5G would also benefit manufacturing through flexible factor setup and production, quality control through real-time analytics and advanced energy management.

In Spain, Omdia forecast that the 5G use case of enhanced indoor wireless broadband coverage, in the category of enhanced mobile broadband, would have a high impact in generating 5G-enabled sales and reducing emissions in Spain by enabling smart buildings in professional, scientific and administrative services sectors. It calculated that, in total, Spain would see €100bn in 5G-enabled sales in 2030, led by manufacturing with €26bn, and 322,000 5G-enabled jobs, led by the information and communications sector.

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