It was almost axiomatic, in its way, that 5G connectivity in next generation communications would mean big new business opportunities. Yet this rather vague concept got just a little more fleshed out recently thanks to a new 5G Americas report from the Global 5G Event, which provided new insight into how much economic power this new connectivity will mean.
The word from 5G Americas says that, by 2035, 5G next generation communications technology will represent $12.3 trillion in worldwide economic output. Additionally, by 2035, the global value chain for 5G will itself yield $3.5 trillion in economic output and be responsible for about 22 million new jobs worldwide. Just Internet of Things (IoT) spending alone will reach $1.7 trillion by 2020, and given the impact of 5G technology on IoT operations, it's clear that 5G could be a very big development. 5G Americas then puts a further face on that number, noting that the overall contribution will be roughly equivalent to the entire economy of India.
Further, the 5G Americas report notes that 5G technology will provide benefit of varying degrees pretty much the world over, offering cost savings to industries worldwide and even sparking up entirely new industries. The report points to big gains in smart city technology, in energy operations, and in transportation services.
It's easy to see why the 5G Americas report looks so thoroughly optimistic here; it has every right to be. We're talking about a technology that's already been hyped six ways from Sunday, yet much of the hype seems to have at least a basis in reality. 5G is expected to do just about everything from fundamentally revolutionizing the Internet service provider (ISP) industry—it's impossible to maintain local monopolies when a wireless service can reach everywhere in that area—to providing the means for ending the rural connectivity gap once and for all. Sometimes called fiber without the fiber, it has a great potential to open up markets, to provide new levels of connectivity, and to do it all with a minimum of latency and effectively unlimited bandwidth.
That's a technology that has no shortage of applications, and when all those applications get going properly, it should mean a lot of new economic opportunity to go along with it. That's a value that's hard to understate, and the 5G Americas report certainly isn't understating anything. While the exact impact—even the exact release date—of 5G technology isn't clear yet, what is clear is that this next generation communications technology will drive opportunity for years to come.
Edited by Alicia Young