5G will contribute almost $900 billion to Asia’s economy over the next 15 years, says the latest Asia Pacific edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy series published at MWC19 Shanghai today.
In the wake of the developments around 5G, GSMA also called on governments and regulators in the region to actively shape a favorable business environment that encourages investment in advanced networks and allow operators to extend next-generation digital services to all Asia’s citizens.
Between 2018 and 2025, mobile operators in Asia are forecast to invest $574 billion (capex) on new networks, almost two-thirds of which ($370 billion) will be spent on new 5G networks.
China alone is forecast to invest $184 billion on 5G by 2025.
The world’s first nationwide 5G networks went live in South Korea earlier this year, and it is anticipated that 24 Asia Pacific markets will have launched 5G by 2025.
China is currently testing 5G across all major cities and provinces, including Shanghai, ahead of commercial launches next year.
The report forecasts that 28 percent of China’s mobile connections will be running on 5G networks by 2025, accounting for about a third of all 5G connections globally by this point.
“Although 4G still has plenty of headroom for growth across Asia, operators in the region are now investing billions in building-out advanced 5G networks that are facilitating an array of new services for consumers, transforming industry and manufacturing, and driving economic growth,” said Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA.
The report also forecasts that more than four in five mobile connections in Asia will be smartphones by 2025, up from 61 per cent in 2018.