5G value chain to generate $3.5 trillion and 22 million jobs by 2035

The 5G value chain could generate up to $3.5 trillion in revenue by 2035 and support up to 22 million jobs, according to Qualcomm CEO, Steve Mollenkopf.

During his keynote at CES 2017, in Las Vegas last week, Mollenkopf said, “5G isn’t an incremental improvement in connectivity, or even just a new generation of mobile. 5G will be a new kind of network, supporting a vast diversity of devices with unprecedented scale, speed and complexity.”

The Invention Revolution

Mollenkopf said that in the lead up to 5G, billions of mobile devices with extraordinary power are uniting with advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, and more — creating the Invention Revolution, “an era of rapid innovation unlike anything humankind has ever seen”.

He cited The 5G Economy research study, commissioned by Qualcomm, which suggests that 5G’s full economic effect will be realized across the globe by 2035, supporting a wide range of industries and potentially producing up to $12 trillion worth of goods and services. The study finds that the 5G value chain (OEMs, operators, content creators, app developers and consumers) could alone generate up to $3.5 trillion in overall aggregate revenue by 2035 and support up to 22 million jobs.

When failure is not an option

Mollenkopf said that 5G will have the biggest impact in building immersive experiences such as virtual and augmented reality through constant connectivity, connecting everything via a massive number of sensors as part of the Internet of Things.

He also highlighted the role 5G will have in the deployment of mission-critical services — when safety is paramount and failed connections are not an option, such as in digital health and transportation, for example.

Mollenkopf gave a live demo of Snapdragon Flight. The demo featured a number of drones that were programmed to fly a set course, relying upon real-time, on-board processing and decision-making to avoid obstacles. This was the first time Qualcomm showed flight control and machine learning running together on a drone.

Watch the presentation highlights here:

5G: It’s about more than technology

TM Forum’s Deputy CEO, Nik Willetts, recently said that 5G will be a “truly ground-breaking technology” but cautioned that too much of the focus today is on how we technologically innovate – on things like spectrum and regulation and the underlying technology.

Nik comments, “These are all important topics but 5G monetization demands business transformation, not just new technology, to capitalize on the opportunities. Only delivering on the technology as we have done traditionally will mean that we miss many of the true growth opportunities that 5G represents.”

For example, companies will need to look at the structure of their organizations and the culture: “We have to embrace people who can really change the game in our businesses,” Nik says.

We also have to think about radically new ways of automating operations through new age OSS/BSS systems and the automation of operations overall. And we have to think about how we change the approach and the position of the customer, using concepts like design thinking to put the customer at the center of our process and then use deep analytics to understand that customer’s lifecycle, continuously engage them and provide services they want dynamically as needed.

Nik says, “All of that leads us to a business that is continuously evolving; one that embraces open innovation and agility and increases the ability of the whole business to respond at the speed of the market. That allows us to drive truly adaptive digital businesses.”

TM Forum is developing a new Digital Business Maturity Model that will help companies understand where they are in this complex transformation journey and to map out the next steps. It will also enable them to benchmark themselves against others in the industry and to find the right practical tools in TM Forum’s rich asset library.

Find out more here.


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    Sarah is a freelance writer and editor with an interest in new technologies and how they impact our everyday lives.

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