Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) commissioned a study called The 5G Economy, which includes an economic impact study conducted by IHS Markit and validated by Dr. David Teece -- director of the Tusher Center at the Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkley -- as well as opinion-based research about the expectations for 5G among business and technologists.
According to the study, 5G's "full economic benefit" should be realized by 2035, 15 years after widescale deployments are expected to start in 2020, when applications of the technology could produce up to $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services. This will happen across a broad range of industries -- from retail to education, transportation to entertainment, "and everything in between," the survey predicts.
Qualcomm is not the only company to push the idea of 5G spurring a new industrial revolution recently. At CES, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) was talking about 5G as the "new economy." The Qualcomm study states that "5G will catapult mobile into the exclusive realm of General Purpose Technologies, like electricity and the automobile, that provide the foundation for massive innovation, give rise to new industries and benefit entire economies." (See Ericsson: 5G Heralds 'New' New Economy.)
It is arguable that this transition has already started with 3G and 4G, since many people around the world use their phone as their main access mechanism to the Internet already.
How the anticipated boom in global 5G-related jobs -- 22 million by 2035, remember? -- will be distributed is also up for question.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- under the Obama administration -- has been quite focused on opening spectrum for 4G and 5G applications.(See Ready, Set, Go! FCC Votes for First 5G Spectrum.)
Will this continue? The indications, so far, are that the Trump-era agency could heavily pursue net neutrality as an initial cause. However, as there is such scant information on Trump's plans for technology, it is hard to make predictions. (See Clinton Tech Plan Draws Sharp Contrast to Trump's Thinking.)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading