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Millimeter Wave Spectrum for 5G could account for 25% of 5G’s value, GSMA

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The use of millimeter wave spectrum for 5G will support an $565 billion increase in global gross domestic product by 2034 and $152 billion in tax revenue, accounting for 25% of the total value generated by 5G networks, according to a new GSMA report.

While other reports have looked at the overall value that 5G is expected to bring to global gross domestic product or specific countries, the GSMA’s report is an attempt to quantify the value that mmWave spectrum, specifically, brings to the 5G table. It looks at the time period from 2020 to 2034.

“5G’s full socio-economic impact is dependent on access to a variety of spectrum resources, including millimeter wave bands between 24 GHz and 86 GHz,” according to the report, which was written for the GSMA by TMG. “The mmWave spectrum allows for the increases in bandwidth and capacity that numerous 5G applications require. It will play a key role in meeting the demand for many enhanced mobile data services as well as new wireless broadband use cases.”

In a blog entry on the topic, the GSMA said that “none of these use cases will reach their full potential without access to this spectrum,” and that countries risk losing out on that 25% of value if access to mmWave is stymied.

“The availability of millimeter wave spectrum is dependent on what happens at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019. Government backing for the mobile industry is needed during the whole process. The GSMA recommends supporting the 26 GHz, 40 GHz and 66-71 GHz for mobile,” the industry organization said.

The TMG report broke down the estimated GDP value of a number of 5G use cases. By 2034, 23% percent of the $565 billion in value generated by 5G is expected to come from industrial automation; 18% from remote manipulation of objects; 16% from virtual reality and meetings; and 15% from high-speed broadband in the home and office.

On a per-sector basis, the report says that by 2034, 38% of the value of mmWave 5G will be generated by the manufacturing and utilities sector, with another 25% coming from the financial and professional services sector. The use cases that will most benefit from mmWave, the report notes, “generally require a large amount of data throughput in a small coverage area or face scarcity of spectrum in lower frequency bands.”

Among the report’s other findings:

-Total tax revenue generated by 5G will be around $588 billion by 2034, TMG estimates, with $152 billion coming from mmWave spectrum. The GSMA said that this does not include spectrum fees and payments.

-The two regions expected to make the generate the greatest share of mmWave’s value contribution are Asia-Pacific with $212 billion and the Americas with $190 billion.

– Over the forecast period, Europe has the highest percentage of GDP growth attributable to mmWave 5G, a rate of 2.9%.

-Late adopters are likely to see faster growth rates once 5G comes their way. The report said that “once 5G has taken hold in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, the annual gain from mmWave 5G will grow much faster from 2026 onwards, closing the gap between the early and late adopters.”

Read the GSMA’s full report here. 

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James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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