The GSMA believes that 5G will soon become the norm in North America. The organization’s latest Mobile Economy report specifically predicts that half (51 percent) of the mobile connections in the region will be 5G connections by 2025.
The total number of mobile connections is expected to climb to 426 million in that same window. 5G connections will pass 100 million by 2022 as the total moves toward that 51 percent.
According to the GSMA, mobile operators’ ongoing investments in 5G infrastructure, coupled with the increasing availability of affordable 5G smartphones, will accelerate adoption rates in the next few years. The region will have 340 million mobile subscribers by 2025.
“The report confirms that operators in North America will continue to be among the world leaders when it comes to 5G deployment,” said GSMA Director General Mats Granryd. “Although the rate of 5G adoption was lower than originally anticipated due to the pandemic, we don’t expect it to impact the growth of connections in the long term.”
Looking beyond 5G, the report credits mobile technology for adding $1.01 trillion to the North American economy in 2019, a figure that represents 4.8 percent of the area’s total GDP. The mobile industry accounted for two million jobs and $98 billion worth of taxes, while mobile operator revenues will reach $294 billion by the end of the forecast period.
The GSMA also found considerable support for health apps in the US and Canada. More than half of the mobile users in the two countries are already using such an app, and the GSMA expects that trend to continue as people change their behavior patterns and embrace telehealth in response to COVID-19.
“Mobile networks have proven their resilience, keeping individuals and businesses connected despite changes in data consumption patterns,” added Granryd. “This reflects the significant investments made by operators over many years to provide additional network capacity, which was supported by moves at the start of the pandemic to bolster service temporarily.”
While the North American numbers are impressive, the GSMA has previously predicted that China will outpace the US in 5G adoption. Before the pandemic, the organization suggested that 2.7 billion people will have access to 5G networks by 2025.