Andrey Popov - Fotolia
The European economy stands to benefit by €113.1bn annually by the middle of next decade, if sufficient investment is made in 5G mobile networks, according to a European Commission (EC) supported study.
The report, titled Identification and quantification of key socio-economic data to support strategic planning for the introduction of 5G in Europe, said the cost of deploying 5G across the 28 current European Union (EU) member states could reach around €56bn in 2020.
However, it added, five years on, the return on that investment would be substantial, and more than two million jobs could be created.
It was prepared by wireless technology supplier InterDigital, analysts Real Wireless, tech consultancy Tech4i2 and Trinity College Dublin’s Connect technology research programme, with the aim of forecasting the benefits, impacts and technical requirements of 5G and help the EC plan its future strategy.
The year-long study found that the benefits and capabilities of 5G were very broad and varied, but identified three main capabilities that would have the most measurable impact.
These were ubiquitous mobile broadband coverage capable of delivering at least 50Mbps down; scalable products for machine-to-machine (M2M) and internet of things (IoT) networks in relevant verticals; and ultra-tactile internet, a “step-change” capability that has the potential to unlock as yet hypothetical future applications.
“Many people are excited about 5G technology, but the goal of this study was to investigate what 5G might mean for industries, including the mobile industry, as well as various other stakeholders,” said InterDigital vice-president of Europe, Alan Carlton.
“This study should provide a basis for regulators, other public authorities and various stakeholders to plan future policy in areas such as spectrum allocation planning and future market regulation. The key in all this is to attain maximum benefit, both socially and economically.”
The researchers said the annual benefit of €113.1bn could rise to as much as €140bn if trickle-down effects are accounted for.
This amount was calculated from first order benefits across four major verticals – automotive, health, transport and utilities – totaling €62.5bn, and second order benefits across four environments – smart cities, non-urban, smart homes and the workplace – which added up to another €50.6bn.
The report said 63% of the total benefits would arise from enterprise use of 5G, with the rest made up of benefits to consumers and society. ... ... ... ... ... ...