LIVE FROM ZTE 5G SUMMIT & USER CONGRESS, BANGKOK: GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman (pictured) underscored the significant economic benefits 5G deployments can drive but cautioned the industry it must find new ways to cooperate to deliver compelling and sustainable services and operational models.

“As an industry we’re in the midst of an evolution that’s transforming operators from telcos to future-facing tech communications companies,” he noted, adding that meeting changing customer demands requires increasingly complex products and services.

As 5G matures, Hoffman said the industry must continue to work together to move to the next stage of digital transformation, introduce commercially viable services that benefit operators, verticals and consumers, and build a more sustainable future.

Globally, 297 operators in 100 countries introduced commercial 5G networks. The number of 5G connections surpassed the 1 billion milestone in 2022, and Hoffman cited GSMA Intelligence data forecasting 5G connections will reach 5.4 billion connections by 2030.

In China, home to the majority of 5G base stations worldwide, the number of 5G connections is expected to grow from about 750 million to 1 billion by 2025.

The GSMA predicts 5G will add nearly $1 trillion the global GDP by 2030, with almost half generated from the service sector by applications in areas like finance, healthcare and education, he added.

To cater to soaring data demand, operators will spend roughly $1.5 trillion globally on the mobile capex over the next seven years, with more than 92 per cent of the total be spent on 5G.