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5G is driving economic growth, resiliency, and sustainability in a post-Covid economy

Mar 1, 2021

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Economists have long understood that technology advancement is the primary driver of economic growth and opportunity. Approximately every decade since the early 1980’s, inventors and innovators in the mobile industry have introduced a new generation of mobile technologies (1G, 2G, etc.), steadily revolutionlizing how people and businesses communicate and connect. This cadence of mobile technological advancements has had profound impacts on our lives and has accelerated economic growth and broadened economic opportunities that were previously inaccessible for many.

5G  the fifth and newest generation of mobile technologies – has the potential to impact connectivity and economies in ways never seen before. Indeed, 5G technologies will play a vital role in the world’s post-Covid-19 recovery – sparking growth across sectors, the U.S. and Europe at a time when the world is desperately in need.

New economic studies by Accenture, commissioned by Qualcomm, estimate that in the U.S., 5G will generate up to $1.5 trillion in additional GDP between 2021 and 2025, and will create or transform up to 16 million American jobs, including full-time, part-time and temporary jobs in the United States. The GDP growth and labor market impacts will be felt everywhere – in each state and every industry.

Source: Accenture Analysis
Source: Accenture Analysis

The same type of economic boost will occur accross Europe. Accenture finds 5G will create or transform up to 20 million European jobs and contribute up to €1.0 trillion ($1.2 trillion) to the European GDP.

Source: Accenture Analysis
Source: Accenture Analysis

It has become clear during these uncertain times that connectivity is essential. This demand for connectivity is not just from consumers, however. Industries need a 5G network that can provide higher availability, reliability and security than previous networks. 

The sectors that will experience massive growth in both regions include healthcare, auto and transport, information communication technology and manufacturing. Accenture outlines various case studies of industrial transformation that will accelerate revenue growth, resiliency and sustainability across major industries in the U.S. and Europe.

Source: Accenture Analysis
Source: Accenture Analysis

Despite all this potential for accelerated growth and recovery, there are challenges that will need to be addressed. The 5G economy will introduce a new level of complexity to policymaking and regulation as new business models emerge and industries continue to evolve on their digital transformation.  

To realize the benefits of 5G quickly, the reports identify several areas that policymakers should consider, such as:  

  • Ensuring legal protections for intellectual property and establish other policies that protect new technologies, encourage innovation and R&D and accelerate new developments. 
  • Developing policies to support reliable semiconductor, wireless device and network equipment innovation and design.  
  • Fostering a robust global supply chain to power critical manufacturing, healthcare, automotive and other 5G use cases via trusted sources and reliable producers. 
  • Accelerating network deployment, including incentivizing broadband investment in underserved areas and supporting the development of OpenRAN, which will allow interoperability and standardization of RAN functions to simplify integration across the RAN ecosystem and drive down cost. 
  • Establishing national strategies for 5G innovation and industrial and ecosystem support.  
  • Establishing subsidies and tax incentives to encourage pilot projects or even full-scale testbeds that will demonstrate the benefits and possibilities of 5G technology.
  • Prioritizing the release and allocation of critical mid-band spectrum and incentivizing the development and deployment of mmWave networks. 
  • Streamlining industry-specific processes and policymaking, such as the approval process for medical devices and healthcare use cases. 

For more than 35 years, Qualcomm has been inventing, developing and commercializing foundational wireless technologies that continuously drive economic growth, and the company’s 5G innovations will continue to create new opportunities in the post-Covid economy. Consecuently, an accelerated rollout of 5G can ensure that the global economy emerges from this pandemic even stronger than it was before.


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Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Durga Prasad Malladi

Senior Vice President & GM, 5G, Broadband & RAN, Qualcomm Technologies

Kirti Gupta

VP, Technology & Economic Strategy, Qualcomm Incorporated