The GSMA has published a new report that provides a comprehensive look at the developing mobile economy in Russia and the surrounding Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In that regard, the organization predicts that mobile operators will invest $25 billion in mobile infrastructure in the next five years, the majority (57 percent) of which will be earmarked for the region’s 5G development.
Based on that investment, the GSMA expects to see 52 million 5G connections in the region by 2025. That figure corresponds to a 13 percent 5G adoption rate. The overall smartphone adoption rate will climb to 81 percent as devices become more affordable, while most mobile connections (65 percent) will be 4G connections.
However, the GSMA warned that the limited availability of 5G spectrum could slow the development of the region’s digital economy. The organization has previously argued that Russia’s overly restrictive radio frequency regulations will hinder growth, and advised CIS policymakers to work with mobile operators to create development roadmaps that ensure that there is reliable access to essential spectrum resources.
“The CIS region is reaping concrete benefits in economic growth and social development through improved commerce, communication and service delivery,” said GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer John Giusti. “COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of access to fast and reliable connectivity in driving a resilient and inclusive digital economy, underpinned by a wide range of digital services for individuals and businesses across the region.”
The ‘Mobile Economy Russia & CIS 2020’ report was released during the GSMA Thrive Eurasia virtual event, which ran from November 11-12. The mobile economy accounted for more than 830,000 jobs in 2019, and generated more than $14 billion in public sector funding. The CIS region as a whole will add 330 million new IoT connections by 2025, thanks in large part to the growing ubiquity of smart home and smart building products.