LIVE FROM MWC19 LOS ANGELES: Industry group the GSMA predicted almost half of North America’s mobile connections would run on 5G networks in six years time, fuelled by operator investment of more than $380 billion from 2018 to end-2025.

In the 2019 North America Edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy report series, released today (22 October) highlighted the region’s global 5G leadership, with accounts based on the technology forecast to account for 46 per cent of total connections by the end of the period.

By 2025, the GSMA predicted total unique mobile subscribers will reach 345 million (85 per cent of the population), up from 321 million in 2018. Around three quarters of mobile connections currently run 4G, with this share set to decline over the coming years as the market moves to 5G.

The research found operator investments are increasingly focused on extending 5G coverage, enabling a range of new services for consumers and enterprise.

In a statement, GSMA director general Mats Granryd said the study highlighted how North America is “vying for global 5G leadership with pioneering mobile markets such as China, Japan and South Korea”.

GDP contributions
The research highlighted that mobile technologies and services generated 4.2 per cent of North America’s GDP in 2018, equivalent to $937 billion in economic value. This was forecast to increase to almost $1.2 trillion by 2023.

In addition, the mobile ecosystem supported 2.3 million jobs, made substantial contributions to public sector funding and generated almost $123 billion through taxation in 2018, not including spectrum fees.

GSMA noted the region’s mobile sector is on track to generate $280 billion in revenue in 2019.