Press Note

5G Economic Opportunity Proves Resilient

IHS Markit 5G Economy Study Sees Increased 5G Investment during Global Pandemic
Despite COVID-19, updated IHS Markit Study finds 5G-related CAPEX and R&D spend is up 10.8% over the 2019 forecast; 5G-related jobs increase to 22.8 million over the next 15 years

Nov 17, 2020SAN DIEGO

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Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. today announced new study findings showing a 10.8% net increase in global 5G investment and R&D over the next 15 years, compared to the 2019 forecast. The IHS Markit 2020 5G Economy Study, commissioned by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. also shows an increase in 5G-related jobs to 22.8 million by 2035, up 22.3 million, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the global economy.

IHS Markit attributed this increase to unprecedented demand for both 5G network infrastructure and devices, along with the realization that 5G will transform industries across the board. This is further compounded by the realization across businesses, governments and society of the critical nature of connectivity during the global pandemic. Digital transformation of industries that would typically take several years to complete are being accelerated dramatically.   

“IHS Markit’s findings in their latest report confirm what we are seeing in the market - strong momentum in both the deployment of and demand for 5G around the world,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. “Not only has 5G proven to be resilient in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is proving to be the technology at the heart of the digital transformation across industries.”

Karen Campbell, Ph.D., associate director, IHS Markit Economics and lead analyst on the report shared, “IHS Markit expects the continual and deepening deployment of 5G, and the products, services, and experiences that will flow from it, to fundamentally support and enable the emergent requirements of the post-pandemic world for connectivity, flexibility and resiliency.”

Additional key takeaways from the study include:

  • 5G will enable $13.1 trillion in global sales enablement in 2035
    • IHS Markit’s current forecast for global gross output (sales) in 2035 is about 2.8% lower than pre-pandemic forecasts, and the world real GDP forecast is lower by 3.1%.
    • In contrast, IHS Markit’s revised forecast for 5G gross output is lower by only about 0.6%, demonstrating great resilience of the next generation wireless technology, destined to transform industries
  • By 2035, the 5G value chain alone will drive $3.8 trillion of economic output, up from $3.6T in the prior report.
  • Collective investment in R&D and CAPEX by firms that are part of the 5G value chain, within the seven countries* examined in the report, will average over $260 billion annually (up from $235B in the pre-pandemic report). 
  • The United States and China are expected to lead in 5G CAPEX and R&D, investing a total of $1.3 trillion and $1.7 trillion respectively, over the 15-year time horizon of this study
  • 5G could enable 6.4% of public service (government) and 5.9% of agricultural output in 2035, driven by smart cities and smart agriculture deployments, respectively.
    • While 5G could enable about 5.1% of global real output in 2035, IHS Markit forecasts the 5G-enabled sales percentage by industry to range from 2.3% in the hospitality sector to 10.9% in the information and communications sector. 

The updated version of the report is available to download on the Qualcomm website at

*The report focuses on the US, China, Japan, South Korean, Germany, France and the U.K.


About Qualcomm 

Qualcomm is the world’s leading wireless technology innovator and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G. When we connected the phone to the internet, the mobile revolution was born.  Today, our foundational technologies enable the mobile ecosystem and are found in every 3G, 4G and 5G smartphone.  We bring the benefits of mobile to new industries, including automotive, the internet of things, and computing, and are leading the way to a world where everything and everyone can communicate and interact seamlessly.

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