Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Ericsson, in collaboration with Analysys Mason, have found that the potential economic value of full 5G as an ‘open innovation platform’ could add 210€ billion in benefits to Europe. More about Europe 5G benefits below.
The study, 5G action plan review for Europe, which was conducted by Analysys Mason with input and funding from Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson, provides a cost-benefit analysis by both country and market segment, and recommends targeted public sector investment and policy change to drive the most value.
Status of 5G deployment in Europe
Several countries in Europe have now launched initial 5G services, which are based on 4G
infrastructures, and further networks are expected to launch later in 2020 and 2021. Of the European
countries where 5G has already been launched, Finland has the highest population coverage (over
50%) whereas most countries are at coverage of 15–40%
The report has found that Germany is forecast to see the highest overall net benefit (benefit minus cost) of 38.5€ billion, with an investment of 6€ billion giving a cost-benefit-ratio (CBR) of 7.5. Switzerland is set to see the highest CBR of 14.7, with roughly a 10€ billion net benefit on just a 700€ million investment.
“5G can provide the economic stimulus Europe needs,” said Wassim Chourbaji, Senior Vice President Government Affairs, Qualcomm Communications SARL. “5G connectivity extends so much further than the smartphone and has the potential to transform entire industries at the macro level. Qualcomm is committed to be working with businesses, organisations, and governments across Europe to seize the potential growth and innovation opportunity this technology presents.”
At the use case level, the largest economic benefits in terms of European GDP impact are from the smart factories, agriculture and FWA (suburban and rural areas) use cases, providing net benefits of 58€ billion, 37€ billion, and 18€ billion respectively.
Gabriel Solomon, Head of Government and Industry Relations, Ericsson Europe and Latin America, said: “As an open innovation platform, 5G provides the critical infrastructure needed to help Europe achieve a sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic recovery. While the EU sets out its ambition for the Digital Decade and implements the Green Deal, it should ensure 5G plays a leading role in driving the digital transformation and decarbonization of its economy. Ericsson is a technology leader in 5G and is committed to bringing the next generation of connectivity to every part of society.”
The study clusters market segments within four key areas: Smart Production and Logistics, Smart Rural, Smart Urban, and Smart Public Services. The Smart Production and Smart Rural clusters have the largest net benefit of 70€ billion and 55€ billion respectively, although their CBRs are lower than those of the Smart Urban and Smart Public Services clusters.
The study also identifies key areas that would require partial or full public funding in order for the benefits to be realized. These span healthcare and hospitals, municipal buildings, education, tourism, agriculture and urban hotspots including public transport. It found that over 50€ billion of benefit can be delivered for less than 20€ billion of public funding.
As well as the economic benefits driven by investment, the study outlines many of the key environmental and social benefits from 5G connectivity. Worker safety, upskilled workforces, reduced carbon emissions and energy usage, less resource intensive production, social inclusivity and even import/export security are all highlighted as supplementary benefits.
“It is clear that 5G will become one of the core technological foundations on which our economies and societies will be built,” continued Chourbaji. “The benefits and returns are now evident, and now we must rise to meet the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Only together, through strategic collaboration and consultation will these benefits be fully realized.”