Operators to invest €700bn in 5G by 2025

News

5G is now live in 24 markets worldwide and set to account for 56% of connections by 2025, according to the GSMA’s new Mobile Economy report.

According to the report, 46 operators in 24 markets had launched commercially available 5G networks by January 30. For now, though, 4G remains the world’s dominant mobile technology, supporting 52% of global connections last year.

Mobile operators are expected to spend $1.1 trillion (€0.97 trillion) worldwide between 2020 and 2025 in mobile CapEx, with roughly 80% of that going on 5G networks ($0.88 trillion/€0.77 trillion).

Lesson so far

Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, said, “Over the last 12 months we have seen the 5G ‘hype’ make way for reality: millions of consumers are already migrating to 5G, while enterprises are beginning to embrace 5G-enabled network slicing, edge computing and low-latency services.”

The report forecasts that 5G will contribute $2.2 trillion (€1.95 trillion) to the global economy by 2034, with key industries such as manufacturing, utilities, and professional and financial services seeing the greatest benefits.

The report notes, “Operators are increasingly seeking ways to grow revenue and cut costs in a low-growth environment, which is made more complicated by the demanding requirements of 5G services (that is, high speed, low latency and ultra-reliability).

“Operators, therefore, need to evolve their networks (using innovations such as virtual RAN, edge networking and network automation) to meet the demands of the 5G era. They will also need to diversify their revenue streams (into areas such as pay-TV, media/entertainment, advertising and IoT) to seek growth beyond core telecoms services.”