4G networks will add €100 billion to European economy claims GSMA

The rise in productivity stimulated by 4G networks will contribute an extra €100 billion to the European economy by 2020, according to the GSMA.

A new report released by the trade body for the mobile industry forecasts that European GDP will rise from €500 billion in 2014 to €600 billion by 2020. The rise in output, according to ‘The Mobile Economy: Europe 2015’, is attributable to improvements in productivity and efficiency created by new mobile technologies, including machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

As 4G coverage grows and the region experiences greater adoption of 4G-capable devices, there will be greater use of mobile data, according to the report, with the average monthly data usage for Western Europe set to grow from less than 1GB per month in 2014 to nearly 6GB in 2019. Many European operators are reporting that 4G customers are using more than double the amount of data as 3G users and revenue from mobile data services is helping them return to service revenue growth after periods of negative growth, says the GSMA.

The €500 billion currently generated by the mobile industry in Europe is 3.2% of the region’s GDP, supports 3.8 million jobs and contributes around €84 billion to public funding through taxes. Mobile operators also contribute to public funding through the payment of spectrum fees. In 2014, the allocation of spectrum licences in Greece, Hungary and Estonia generated around €700 million for their respective governments.

The mobile industry is leading European digital innovation, claims the GSMA, which cites mobile commerce, smart manufacturing, smart homes and smart health as key areas of innovation. Mobile technology’s role in the Internet of Things (IoT) will stimulate growth from 68 million machine to machine connections in 2015 to 182 million by 2020.

However, the variety of national regulatory and legal environments will be an obstacle to progress, claims the GSMA, which notes that the EU proposes to create a European Digital Single Market that could cut barriers to innovation and drive future economic growth.

Europe won’t be a top digital economy without a major regulatory overhaul to encourage investment, according to Alex Sinclair, Acting Director General and Chief Technology Officer at the GSMA. “The creation of a Digital Single Market provides a unique opportunity to build a new regulatory framework that supports a new era,” said Sinclair.

In other mobile association news, Nokia, one of the original-founding members of the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), has re-joined the GSA Executive Board.

“Nokia has supported the GSA activities and actively contributed to numerous projects over the past 17 years”, said Joe Barrett, President – GSA. “All of the GSA members and the other Executive members are pleased to welcome Nokia back to the GSA board.”

“We look forward to engaging even deeper with the GSA in its role to express mobile suppliers’ views”, said Hossein Moiin, EVP and CTO, Nokia Networks. “This is even more important as we work commonly toward 5G, complementing efforts of other sectors of the industry”.

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