Asia Pacific is expected to become the world’s largest 5G region by 2025, led by pioneering 5G markets such as Australia, China, Japan and South Korea, according to the latest edition of the GSMA’s Mobile Economy report. The report was made public during Mobile World Congress Shanghai, taking place this week
Launches of commercial 5G networks in these markets are expected to begin next year. By 2025, 5G connections in Asia Pacific are expected to reach 675 million, representing half of global 5G connections.
“The Asia Pacific region has experienced rapid migration to mobile broadband networks and smartphones over recent years and is now set to play a pioneering role as we move into the 5G era,” said Mats Granryd, GSMA director general. “Mobile operators in Asia will invest almost $200 billion over the next few years in upgrading and expanding their 4G networks and launching new 5G networks in order to accelerate the growth of Asia’s digital economies and societies.”
According to the GSMA, the early 5G launches in Asia, based on 3GPP Release 15, are expected to focus on enhanced mobile broadband services, supplementing the capacity and capabilities of existing mobile broadband networks, particularly in dense urban areas. However, the future launch of 5G systems based on 3GPP Release 16 will pave the way to support a range of future 5G use cases and innovations, including massive connectivity and low-latency services such as internet of things (IoT) critical communication services (e.g. remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, smart grids) and virtual reality.
The GSMA report also highlighted that 4G also continues to grow rapidly across key markets across the Asia Pacific region. By 2025, it is expected that 62% of Asia’s mobile connections will be running on 4G networks and 14% on 5G, according to the report.
Asia Pacific, which is home to the world’s two largest mobile markets, China and India, ended last year with 2.7 billion unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to about 67% of region’s population. This number is forecast to expand to 3.2 billion, which will represent 73% of population by 2025. India will be responsible for nearly half of the new subscribers added during this period.
According to the report, Asia’s mobile industry added $1.5 trillion in economic value last year, equivalent to 5.4% of regional GDP.
The contribution of the mobile industry to Asia’s GDP is expected to rise to $1.8 trillion by 2022. In addition, the mobile ecosystem supported more than 17 million jobs last year in the region. – RCR Wireless