SAN JOSE, Calif. – 5G cellular could have a bigger economic impact than expected, according to an IHS study sponsored by Qualcomm. The report comes at a time when carriers are racing to test 5G prototype products and standards are still in development.
5G could enable as much as $12.3 trillion in goods and services in 2035 when its full effects are realized, the 5G Economy report said. By that time, companies developing 5G products and services could generate $3.5 trillion in revenue and 22 million jobs. The so-called 5G value chain will spend as much as $200 billion a year building 5G products and services, it estimated.
In a separate poll also sponsored by Qualcomm, more than 90% of 3,500 business people surveyed agreed that 5G will enable new products, services and use cases that have not been invented yet.
Besides driving wireless broadband to data rates of 10 Gbits/second, 5G aims to expand support for large IoT deployments and provide low latency response for new kinds of wireless services. IHS studied 21 use cases for 5G spanning the three major application areas.
The report “confirmed our strong belief that 5G will be a fundamental game changer,” said Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm’s chief executive, speaking in a press statement.
The U.S. will lead stakeholders spending as much as $200 billion a year on 5G. (Image: IHS)
“There’s a huge demand from operators to get this rolled out,” said Hakan Andersson, an executive responsible for 5G strategy at Ericsson.
The network equipment vendor started working with Japan’s Docomo on 5G in 2014 and has had lab trials with operators since 2015. Now it is working with Qualcomm and SK Telecom as well as AT&T and Verizon in separate field trials.
The 3GPP group setting 5G standards structured its work to start with issues that affect hardware design and have longer lead times, said Andersson. It also is leaving room to add forward-compatible features in the future.
“There is an understanding that to do the aggressive timing there needs to be flexibility to add fairly drastic changes in the future without jeopardizing early work…so [initial] devices will be fairly immune to what’s happening outside the dedicated time slots of their data,” he said.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times