Home Mobility 5G will bring benefits to Australian digital economy: report

5G will bring benefits to Australian digital economy: report

A new report has painted a glowing picture of the benefits that are likely to push growth in the Australian digital economy to new heights from the rollout of 5G mobile telecommunications.

The report, from professional services firm Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, says facilitation and roll out of 5th generation mobile telecommunications (5G) is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy and add to the already significant — and growing — $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile.

And, annual network spend from mobile providers would reach up to $5.7 billion and likely to grow in FY2017-18, the report forecasts.

It also lists examples of sectors and industries that will benefit from 5G including manufacturing, energy and utilities, automotive and transport, financial services, health, education and media /entertainment.

In addition, the expansion of products and applications which are expected to accelerate under 5G — for both large industry, small to medium enterprises and consumers — are based on new opportunities arising from applications such as artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, Internet of Things, self-driving cars, plus virtual and augmented reality.

“5G is the next evolution in mobile technologies which will offer unprecedented productivity and connectivity enabling impacts for Australia’s economy and society. This represents evolution that will feature the ‘industrial internet’ which will greatly expand and diversify the range and impact of mobile applications and services,” says Chris Althaus, chief executive, AMTA.

“5G will be a core element of increasing connectivity that will enable innovations such as the Internet of Things, enhanced mobile broadband, massive and critical machine communications – all essential to a successful digital economy and networked society.”

And Deloitte Access Economics partner and lead report author, John O’Mahony, says, "Every generation of mobile technology has generated very real economic and social benefits for Australia, across public and private sectors and individuals and communities across in urban, regional and rural areas across the country.

“This will certainly be the case with 5G – if it is rolled out and harnessed in the right way.

“5G will require significant investment, but this investment will also deliver significant returns in areas as diverse as time savings, enhanced opportunities for businesses and governments to develop new products and services that go to the very core of the way we do things."

The report also identifies a key role for government to develop a clear 5G policy agenda – a commitment announced by Minister Mitch Fifield last week in the government’s 5G Directions Paper.

“The government announcing their 5G road map which includes immediate priorities targeting spectrum availability, streamlining network deployment regulation and fit-for-purpose regulatory frameworks has strong support from the industry and very much reflects the key themes articulated and expanded in 5G,” Althaus says.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).