Investing in and building a 5G network will generate $533 billion in US gross domestic product (GDP) and $1.2 trillion in long-run consumer benefits from these broadband wireless services, according to a new report from the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (ACI). However, this payout will only be possible if service providers make massive upgrades to current mobile service infrastructure, which require state and local governments to take steps to streamline regulations and encourage deployment, the report noted.
"This new analysis confirms that, under the right regulatory and policy frameworks, there will be a spur in next-generation network infrastructure investment, resulting in economic growth, job creation and increased consumer welfare," Steve Pociask, president and CEO of ACI, said in a press release.
In 2016, US wireless subscriber connections grew to 400 million. And since 2010, wireless network data traffic has grown 35 times, as mobile users increasingly take advantage of online shopping, banking, streaming entertainment, GPS, and social media on their phones.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
But across all 50 states, impediments to implementing 5G remain. These include funding: A January Accenture study cited in the report found that the rollout of 5G services will take seven years, and cost an estimated $275 billion in direct investment by wireless service providers.
Further, upgrading wireless infrastructure is contingent upon getting approvals of applications and permits from the government. "State and local regulations that levy excessive fees for permits and applications, impose rights-of-way (ROW) and pole attachment restrictions, enact discriminatory zoning rules, and delay government approvals all raise the risk and cost of 5G deployment," the report stated. "The result from these regulations means less investment, less economic output, fewer jobs, lost consumer welfare, and reduced levels of innovation. Essentially, consumers will pay more for less."
Sometimes, localities require expert studies, levy environmental assessment fees, and impose distract restricts and procurement requirements.
"Many states have already begun modernizing their rules to encourage 5G investment," Pociask said in the release. "Those states will likely be the first to experience the benefits talked about in this report. Those who are behind could see less investment and not get all the benefits, which is not in the public's interest."
Over the seven year period of 5G construction, the investment is predicted to pay out $163 billion in employment earnings, and create 435,000 jobs for the next seven years. A number of benefits will also likely be reaped from the adoption of innovative services fueled by 5G, such as smart grids and health applications—which could push the benefits into the trillions of dollars, the report stated.
Want to use this data in your next business presentation? Feel free to copy and paste these top takeaways into your next slideshow.
- Investing in and building a 5G network will generate $533 billion in US GDP and $1.2 trillion in long-run consumer benefits. -American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, 2017
- In 2016, US wireless subscriber connections grew to 400 million. -American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, 2017
- Since 2010, wireless network data traffic has grown 35 times. -American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, 2017
- 4G and 5G mobile networks will add $1 trillion to North America's economy by 2020 (TechRepublic)
- 3 critical ways that 5G will impact your business (TechRepublic)
- AT&T raises stakes on 5G, targets two cities for AirGig trials (TechRepublic)
- The path to becoming a gigabit city (ZDNet)
- 5G market will surpass $1.23 trillion by 2026: These 8 industries will benefit the most (TechRepublic)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.