The mobile ecosystem accounted for 4.5 per cent of global GDP globally in 2017, a contribution equivalent to $3.6 trillion in economic value according to 2018 edition of GSMA’s ‘Mobile Economy’ report.
According to the report, the mobile eco-system contribution is forecast to reach $4.6 trillion or 5 per cent of GDP by 2022 as countries around the globe increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased uptake of mobile services and M2M/IoT solutions as two-thirds of the world’s mobile connections will be running on 4G and 5G networks by 2025,
It is forecast that 4G will account for 53 per cent of global mobile connections by 2025 (up from 29 per cent in 2017) while 5G networks will grow to account for a further 14 per cent, following the launch of the first commercial 5G networks this year. The report also measures the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) over this period and the mobile industry’s increasing role in contributing to economic growth and social development.
In 2017, the mobile ecosystem also supported 29 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector; almost $500 billion was raised through general taxation, plus a further $25 billion via mobile spectrum auctions.
“We are at the dawn of a new era in mobile with the imminent launch of the first 5G networks and the Internet of Things poised to further transform the way we live and work,” said Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA.
“Streamlined regulation and further policy developments in three main areas – spectrum, infrastructure and economics – are key to realising the full potential of 5G for consumers, society and industry,” added Granryd.
Beginning this year, the first wave of 5G launches will occur in North America and major markets across Asia and Europe. 5G connections are forecast to reach 1.2 billion by 2025, accounting for 14 per cent of the total connections at that time.
Meanwhile, growth in the IoT will be driven by a proliferation of uses cases for smart homes, cities, buildings and enterprises. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that the number of IoT connections (cellular and non-cellular) will increase more than threefold between 2017 and 2025, reaching 25 billion. To date, 23 mobile operators have commercially launched 41 Mobile IoT networks worldwide across using the NB-IoT and LTE-M standards.
The mobile industry signed up its 5 billionth unique mobile subscriber last year and is forecast to add almost another billion by 2025, reaching 5.9 billion subscribers – equivalent to 71 per cent of the world’s expected population by that point. Subscriber growth over this period will be driven by developing countries, particularly Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan, as well as markets across Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
Further, by 2025, it is expected that 5 billion subscribers will be using their mobile phones to access the internet, up from 3.3 billion in 2017.