Mobile technologies, services generate 4.6% of GDP globally


In 2018, mobile technologies and services generated 4.6% of GDP globally, a contribution that amounted to $3.9 trillion of economic value added, GSMA Mobile Economy report has shown.

According to the report the mobile ecosystem also supported almost 32 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with more than $500 billion raised through general taxation.

The report reveals that by 2023, mobile’s contribution will reach $4.8 trillion (4.8% of GDP) as countries around the globe increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services.

“Further ahead, 5G technologies are expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next 15 years, with key sectors such as manufacturing, utilities and professional/financial services benefiting the most from the new technology,” the report noted.

By the end of 2018, 5.1 billion people around the world subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 67% of the global population, according to the report.

The report revealed that a total of 1 billion new subscribers have been added in the four years since 2013 (representing an average annual growth rate of 5%), but it, however, noted that the speed of growth is slowing.

An average annual growth rate of 1.9% between 2018 and 2025 will bring the total number of mobile subscribers to 5.8 billion (71% of the population).

Over the next seven years, 1.4 billion people will start using the mobile internet for the first time, bringing the total number of mobile internet subscribers globally to 5 billion by 2025 (over 60% of the population).

According to the report, in 2018, 4G overtook 2G to become the leading mobile technology across the world, with 3.4 billion connections accounting for 43% of the total (excluding licensed cellular IoT).

“With growth continuing apace, particularly across developing markets, 4G will soon become the dominant mobile technology, surpassing half of global mobile connections in 2019 and reaching 60% in 2023,” the report noted.


According to the report, there are 7.9 billion of SIM connections, excluding cellular IoT, and this is expected to grow by 2.2% to 9.2 billion by the year 2025, with operators revenues and investment, $1.03 trillion in 2018, expected to hit $1.14 trillion by 2025.

The global mobile ecosystem generated $1.1 trillion of economic value in 2018, with mobile operators accounting for 60%, and the ecosystem directly employs almost 32 million people globally; 14 million directly and 17 million through related industries.


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