Choosing Right 5G Spectrum Ensures Economic Benefits
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nlocking spectrum for the mobile industry to deliver innovative 5G services across different industry sectors could add US$565 billion to global gross domestic product (GDP) and US$152 billion in tax revenue from 2020 to 2034, according to a new report by GSMA. Next-generation 5G services will improve access to healthcare, education and mobility whilst reducing pollution and increasing safety. However, these outcomes rely on government support for the identification of sufficient millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum for the mobile industry at the next ITU World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019 (WRC-19).

The report, “Socio-Economic Benefits of 5G Services Provided in mmWave Bands,” is the first to examine and quantify the impact of mmWave spectrum on the overall contribution of 5G networks to society. mmWave spectrum will carry the highest-capacity 5G services. It has the ideal characteristics to support very high data transfer rates and ultra-reliable, low latency capabilities, which will support new use cases and deliver the benefits of 5G to consumers and businesses around the world.

TMG, a consulting firm specialising in the information and communication technologies sector, conducted the study on behalf of the GSMA.

“The global mobile ecosystem knows how to make spectrum work to deliver a better future,” said Brett Tarnutzer, Head of Spectrum, GSMA. “More than 5 billion people already rely on the mobile ecosystem to deliver services that are integral to their daily lives and fundamental to the economic sustainability of the communities they live in. 5G can offer more benefits and a whole new range of services to even more people, but this will not be possible without access to this vital spectrum.”

New Possibilities for Consumers, Industry
mmWave 5G will not only provide consumers with ultrafast mobile broadband services including immersive entertainment, but will stimulate a host of applications that will enable citizens and businesses to do tomorrow what they cannot do today. These innovations will include enhanced remote healthcare and education, industrial automation, virtual and augmented reality, and many others.

In healthcare, improved telemedicine, including tactile internet capabilities, better preventative medicine using always-on remote sensors and wearables, and remote surgery, and smart instruments will only be made possible because of the speed and latency capabilities enabled by mmWave spectrum.

Next-generation robots, remote object manipulation (controlling machines with precision at distance), drones, and other real-time control applications in digitized industrial centers are expected to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve safety as well as lead to innovations in products and processes.

In autonomous transport, mmWave 5G will enable driverless vehicles to communicate with each other, the cloud and the physical environment continuously to create highly efficient public transport networks. These and many other innovative use cases are expected to deliver 25 percent of the overall value created by 5G in the future.

Government’s Critical Role
“It is critical for governments to recognise the importance of the mmWave aspects of 5G when making decisions at the upcoming WRC-19. Making the right decisions now on spectrum will be vital to stimulating the rapid growth of economies, especially in developing markets, in the coming decade,” added Tarnutzer. “mmWave spectrum has the capacity to support the innovative services expected from the highest performance of 5G, and only the mobile ecosystem has the technical expertise and track record in collaboration to deliver them at a price acceptable to consumers and businesses around the world.”