Asia Pacific telcos to invest $331 billion in 5G in 2020-25: GSMA

 

Mobile operators in Asia Pacific are expected to invest over $400 billion on their networks between 2020 and 2025, of which $331 billion will be spent on 5G deployments, according to the latest Asia Pacific edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy series.

The report shows that the region is one of the fastest-growing in the world and home to over half of the total global subscribers.

“Operators in the region are investing billions in continuing deployment of 5G networks that are enabling an exciting variety of new services for consumers. This is also helping transform industry and manufacturing, and driving economic growth – which is of critical importance at this time,” said Julian Gorman, head of APAC for GSMA. “Mobile connectivity provides a positive impact on productivity and boosts GDP, and across the region, there is a need for a ‘whole of government’ approach with clear digital strategies to transform economies. As 5G becomes a reality, we call on governments and regulators to actively support a favorable business environment to encourage investment and allow operators to extend next-generation digital services to all Asia’s citizens and speed financial recovery.”

The study also highlighted that the Asia Pacific region is home to some of the most advanced 5G markets in the world, with nine markets having launched commercial mobile 5G services – including Japan at the end of March – and 12 more having officially announced plans.

The GSMA also noted that the impact of COVID-19 on 5G growth will be greater in Asia Pacific, since the region is home to some of the first 5G networks, compared to other areas where many markets have yet to launch 5G. As a result, GSMA revised its forecast for the region and now expects the total number of 5G connections will be almost 20% lower in 2020 in Asia Pacific than previously expected.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of a robust digital economy to cushion the economic and industrial shock of control measures. Emerging economies need to do more to stimulate and evolve the digital ecosystem, including accelerated smartphone penetration and mobile broadband adoption to prepare the foundations for an inclusive 5G future. Digitisation, which was already an important target, is, therefore, moving up the agenda for businesses and governments alike, with many now accelerating their timelines,” Gorman added.

COVID-19 will impact 5G deployments and uptake in the region, affecting both supply- and demand-side economics and the financial implications to the industry are still to be assessed, GSMA said. However, the study noted that indicators show that 5G will experience a short-term dip rather than a long-term slump.

 

 

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