Asian operators to invest $370 bn on 5G

India, China, Australia, Japan and South Korea mobile operators will contribute majority of 5G capex investment

Asia’s mobile operators are set to invest $370 billion building-out new 5G networks between 2018 and 2025, according to the latest Asia Pacific edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy series.

Mobile operators are forecast to invest $574 billion on new networks between 2018 and 2025 and almost two-thirds i.e. $370 billion will be spent on new 5G networks. China alone is forecast to invest $184 billion on 5G by 2025. Apart from China, India, Australia, Japan and South Korea mobile operators will be major contributors in terms of capex investment.

It is anticipated that 24 Asia Pacific markets will launch 5G by 2025 and it is forecast that 5G will contribute almost $900 billion to the region’s economy over the next 15 years.

5G Launch Plan By Countries:

2019 – Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, Northern Mariana Islands and Philippines

2020 – China, India, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam

2025 – Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Samoa and Thailand

Source: GSMA

China is currently testing 5G across all major cities and provinces, including Shanghai, ahead of commercial launches next year. It is forecast that 28 per cent of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about a third of all 5G connections globally by this point.

Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA said, “As 5G becomes a reality, we call on governments and regulators in the region to actively shape a favourable business environment that encourages investment in advanced networks and allows operators to extend next-generation digital services to all Asia’s citizens.”

There were 2.8 billion unique mobile subscribers in Asia at the end of 2018, equivalent to 67 per cent of the region’s population. The number of subscribers is forecast to increase to 3.1 billion by 2025 (72 per cent of the population), though the growth rate is slowing as many key markets approach saturation.

4G will grow to account for more than two-thirds of regional connections by 2025 whereas 5G will account for around 18 percent of connections. Presently, IoT connection is 3.5 billion and 7.5 billion new IoT connections will be added in Asia Pacific by 2025. Smart building and smart home are key growth verticals for IoT connections.

Last year, mobile technologies and services in Asia Pacific generated $1.6 trillion of economic value, equivalent to 5.3% of regional GDP. This contribution is forecast to surpass $1.9 trillion by 2023.


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