A study forecasting the socio-economic benefits of 5G, estimates that in 2025 benefits from the introduction of 5G capabilities could reach €113.1 billion per year in four key sectors which will be the first users of 5G connectivity: automotive, health, transport and energy. Investments of approximately €56.6 billion will be likely to create 2.3 million jobs in Europe.

The European Commission supported study "Identification and quantification of key socio-economic data to support strategic planning for the introduction of 5G in Europe" (SMART 2014/0008) forecasts the benefits, impacts and technical requirements for the introduction of 5G in Europe. In particular it investigates what 5G might actually mean for users, industries, operators and other stakeholders.

It is focused on four sectors that are most likely to take advantage of 5G technologies early on: automotive, healthcare, transport and utilities. Four different environments where to test the impact of 5G have been identified: smart cities, non-urban areas, smart homes and smart workplaces.

The study estimates that the total cost related to the radio network and transmission links of 5G deployment will be approximately €56 billion in 2020. This major public and private sector investment will have a multiplier effect across the economy and it is likely to create up to 2.3 million jobs directly and indirectly in Europe when 5G will be fully deployed.

The study indicates that the benefits of 5G introduction over the four studied industrial sectors (automotive, healthcare, transport and utilities) may reach €113.1 billion per year.

In year 2025 it is expected that €62.5 billion will arise from first order benefits in the four verticals examined in the study. First order benefits focus on the more direct benefits to the producers of goods and services.

There are also significant second order benefits, estimated at €50.6 billion in year 2025, arising from the ‘knock-on’ impacts from the use of goods and services. They generally focus on more indirect benefits to society.

The study also investigated spectrum challenges and spectrum needs of 5G.  Analysis showed there will be a requirement to share spectrum in all the spectrum ranges.

Background information

The study demonstrates and quantifies how 5G can support the conditions for digital networks and services to flourish in EU Member States. It provides an insight to the perfect scenario if Europe can maximise the benefits of 5G.  Forecasts have adopted conservative estimates and all assumptions are clearly presented to enable transparency in predictions

The study has been closely aligned with 5G-PPP activities and more than 150 experts have contributed to the research. Its duration was thirteen month and it was undertaken in three stages.

  • In the first stage desk research and consultation was undertaken to gather and synthesise information about the impact of 5G capabilities on the four industrial sectors and the environments within which the goods and services provided by them will be utilised.
  • Second stage activities involved engagement with experts at two workshops and through an online study discussion group.
  • The final stage of the study utilised scenarios and stakeholder insights to examine the importance of 5G capabilities in the four industrial sectors and environments.           

The study served as an input for the making up of the 5G action plan.

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