Industry call for governments to facilitate 5G
March 11, 2020
Countries must step up their efforts to facilitate the 5G era by backing more supportive policies, according to a new GTI study, produced in collaboration with mobile industry trade body the GSMA.
The White Paper, Supportive Policies for a Sustainable Mobile Industry in the 5G Era, calls for governments to play their part in helping operators overcome the new challenges they face. These include the high costs incurred by the demands for more spectrum; the heavy financial barriers to network deployment; collaboration with diverse vertical industries as well as national broadband strategies and regulations.
According to the latest Mobile Economy Report from the GSMA, by 2025, 5G will account for 20 per cent of global connections, with take-up particularly strong across developed Asia, North America and Europe. Operator forecasted investment is circa $1.1 trillion worldwide over the next five years in mobile CAPEX to support this growth, with roughly 80 per cent in 5G networks.
“Governments are essential partners for the mobile industry, facilitating the right conditions for operators to make the necessary investments in 5G and propel its commercial use,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “As 5G pioneering countries have shown us, more supportive policies are key to 5G, enabling the digital transformation of societies and economies. 5G technologies are expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy between 2024 and 2034, but only if policymakers play their part.”
“5G will play a foundation role in the era of intelligent connectivity, supporting economic growth, transforming businesses and delivering innovative new services.” commented Craig Ehrlich, Chairman of GTI. “There are, however, challenges facing the mobile industry in 5G’s rollout and commercialisation. We are happy to see proactive policies on national broadband strategy, spectrum prices, tax measures, supporting innovation and facilitation of infrastructure deployments, have been introduced in 5G pioneering countries. We believe the government’s support is vital to the success of 5G and to benefit the whole of society.”
In the White Paper, several recommendations from the national plans of 5G pioneering countries are reviewed, including those from China, Finland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Germany. Based on the learnings from 5G national plans, the paper highlights the following elements for countries deploying 5G networks:
- More exclusive spectrum assigned to mobile operators at more reasonable prices;
- Lower taxes and tax reliefs to stimulate 5G investments;
- Positioning 5G as a critical enabler for national broadband ambitions;
- Policies to encourage innovation and industrial collaboration; and
- Facilitate access to public infrastructure to accelerate 5G deployments.