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Credit: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research

Credit: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research

Australia publishes working paper on the impacts of 5G on productivity and economic growth

Australia’s Bureau of Communications and Arts Research recently released its assessment of the potential impacts of 5G on Australia’s productivity and growth.

The working paper titled Impacts of 5G on productivity and economic growth aims to inform consideration of any changes to regulatory settings that may be needed to support the rollout and adoption of 5G services.

5G, the next generation of mobile wireless network technology, which is expected to commence roll out in Australia from 2019, will improve consumer experiences and business utility through faster data transmission and more reliable connectivity.

5G also represents a step change from previous generations of mobile technology by enabling lower latency—the time it takes for signals to travel through the network. This gives it a wider range of applications by providing the responsive digital technology required to support innovations such as robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The paper also provides estimates of the costs and benefits that may stem from 5G and the impacts on businesses and consumers.

According to the paper, 5G is likely to have a positive effect on productivity growth across the Australian economy. Early estimates suggest that 5G could add up to A$2,000 in GDP per capita at the end of the first decade after the rollout.

However, it is also important to note that not all the benefits from 5G will be captured in dollar values – the additional choice and reduction in costs driven by 5G-enabled technology is likely to improve the wellbeing of consumers and households.

The economic impact of 5G will be determined by the extent to which it is an improvement on previous mobile technology, or if it is a general-purpose technology — one typically associated with industrial revolutions.

The paper concludes that Australia is well-positioned to make the most of 5G technology. Australia’s use of telecommunications-enabled goods and services ranks well in comparison with the United States, Canada, Germany and South Korea.

Credit: Bureau of Communications and Arts Research

Among all industries in Australia, those that are already telecommunications-intensive, including the Information, Media and Telecommunications, Arts and Entertainment, Education and Wholesale and Retail sectors are well placed to take advantage of 5G services.

The working paper complements the 5G – Enabling the future economy directions paper, which sets out how the Australian Government will work to ensure that the policy and regulatory environment is updated to take advantage of 5G.

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