How North America is leading the 5G revolution
How North America is leading the 5G revolution
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With the highest levels of mobile broadband and smartphone adoption globally, North America will have 345 million subscribers by 2025.

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North America will be a global leader in 5G adoption, with total subscribers projected to hit 345 million by 2025. More than one quarter of global mobile revenue comes from North America, which can be attributed to the continent’s historically high consumer spending on mobile services, GSMA Intelligence found.

GSMA’s The Mobile Economy report, released on Wednesday, outlined 5G adoption rates, 5G’s impact on the economy, and key trends in the mobile market. High subscriber penetration and significant customer spending on mobile adoption indicates that North America will be worth $280 billion in revenue by the end of 2019; this makes the US the largest market for mobile in the world, according to the report. 

SEE: 5G smartphones: A guide for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

5G is the next wave of mobile connectivity, following LTE, 4G, and 3G. While 5G hype has permeated the enterprise, the technology is coming to fruition, as demonstrated in the report. 2019 will be the first year in which 5G comprises more than half of operators’ capital expenditures in North America, reflecting the evolution from LTE to 5G, the report said. 

Between 2018 and 2025, mobile operators are projected to invest $353 billion in capital expenditure in the US, which is more than any other country, establishing the US’s dominance in the mobile area. 

IoT technology will benefit significantly from enhanced 5G functionality, with 3.6 billion additional IoT connections expected in North America by 2025, the report added. 

How 5G will impact North America’s economy

“The US market is fast-forwarding really quickly into 5G adoption, with all the four carriers having launched 5G,” said Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere, Head of GSMA North America. “The expectations of numbers in the report display the growth [of 5G] as well as [its] contribution to the economy.”

North America’s impressive 5G adoption will bolster economic growth in the continent, according to the report. In 2018, mobile services and technologies already generated 4.2% of GDP in North America, amounting to $937 billion of added economic value. This mobile ecosystem also supported 2.3 million jobs, indirectly and directly. 

This impact will only become greater, the report found. By 2023, mobile’s contribution to the North American economy will reach nearly $1.2 trillion, or 4.8% of GDP, as the US and Canada benefits from the efficiencies caused by mobile services, the report said. 

Mobile technology also has the potential to help transition to a zero-carbon economy. North American operators hope to use mobile systems as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by reducing energy expended by travel and transport. Mobile can help this effort through connected health, remote work, smart logistics, and smart traffic management, the report noted. 

“The carriers have a great understanding of what their network is capable of, and the industry has a great understanding of what they actually need,” Lattibeaudiere said. “By working together with the carriers, that’s really a key part of achieving the great objective of efficiency and productivity.” 

Key trends shaping the enterprise 

The report outlined some of the top industry trends that will shape 5G innovations, including IoT systems and broadband; however, edge computing led the pack. 

Edge computing is the collection, generation, or analysis of data where the data generation originates; this means data is transmitted via digital devices rather than at a data center. This technology brings forth a slew of use cases for 5G including connected cars, edge computing for the enterprise, cloud gaming, and media and entertainment, the report found. 

“When you combine lower latencies, the ability of doing metric slicing for verticals, and defining differentiated quality of service requirements with the capabilities that edge brings, I think there’s a bunch of use cases that in the past that weren’t really possible because the technology wasn’t there,” Lattibeaudiere said.

“We’re seeing the capabilities, we’re imagining the use cases that are going to be possible. But I truly believe that 5G is another revolution in terms of technology, the same way that 3G and 4G were,” she added. 

For more, check out 5G smartphones will surpass 4G ones by 2023 on TechRepublic.

Also see 

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Sarayut Tanerus, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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