Research by telecoms giant Nokia has today found that industries enabled by 5G could add $8tn to the global economy by 2030.

The report, Business Readiness for 5G, which focused on eight economies – South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Australia, Finland, Japan, the UK and the US – found that 72% of large companies will invest in 5G within the next five years.

It also found that those who will invest in 5G will fare better in recovering from the pandemic, with a projected 10% increase in productivity post Covid-19 compared to non-5G adopters. It claims it makes 5G adopters unique in this respect, also identifying them as the only group capable of maintaining or increasing customer engagement during the pandemic itself.

“5G adoption is categorically shown to fuel business success,” said Gabriela Styf Sjöman, chief strategy officer at Nokia.

“Organisations that have integrated 5G stand to benefit from advantages that go way beyond faster, more efficient and reliable network services. As 5G enables businesses to transform, it will also accelerate wider technological and economic trends, with unimaginable possibilities for global economies and societies.

“The cities, hospitals and factories of the future depend on 5G and the unparalleled ability it offers to move, process and store vast volumes of data. Moreover, the biggest challenges we face as a society – from climate change to the pandemic – can be better tackled through at-scale use of the data and technologies that 5G will unleash.”

5G and the global economy: Growth still to come

While the potential for the global economy is significant, for most businesses, involvement in 5G is largely still to come.

Nokia found that across the economies it focused on, just 7% of companies were classed as 5G mature on average, with significant country variations. Saudi Arabia and the US fared best, at 13% and 12% respectively, while Finland, Germany and the UK fared worst, at 2%, 3% and 4% respectively.

A significant minority of businesses – 29% – have no plans to invest in 5G in the next five years, which could put them at a significant disadvantage if Nokia’s findings about the technology’s impact on the global economy prove to be true.

“As organisations across the world move faster towards deployment of 5G enabled technologies, those who wish to be the first to leverage its potential cannot afford to lose more time,” said Styf Sjöman.

“To capture the tremendous opportunities of 5G, organizations must start or intensify their planning now and accelerate business model innovation to remain competitive in a rapidly digitalizing global economy.

“Beyond investment in the technology itself, this will require digitalising operations, processes and ways of working to capture the full potential of 5G.”


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