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The Mobile Economy North America 2019

Following commercial launches by the four largest US mobile operators, 5G is now a reality. With Canada also set to deploy 5G in 2020, 5G adoption is expected to rapidly gather pace across North America. As such, the continent will be a leader of the 5G era.

By the end of 2022, 24% of connections in North America will be on 5G networks; this will rise to 46% by 2025 – equivalent to 200 million 5G connections. Meanwhile, 2019 will be the first year when 5G accounts for more than half of operators’ capex in North America, reflecting the shift from LTE to 5G deployments.

High subscriber penetration coupled with historically high consumer spend on mobile services means the North American mobile market will be worth $280 billion in revenue in 2019. In this context, the US is the largest market for mobile worldwide – around 50% greater than China. It also has the highest levels of mobile broadband and smartphone adoption globally.

This Mobile Economy also considers the impact of mobile on the wider Norther American economy. In 2018, the mobile ecosystem supported 2.3 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made substantial contributions to public sector funding, having raised around $123 billion through taxation. By 2023, Mobile’s contribution to the North American economy will reach $1.2 trillion (4.8% of GDP).

This report highlights the main opportunities for North American operators to capture incremental revenue, namely 5G-based fixed wireless access and 5G-based services targeted at enterprises. 5G will also strengthen the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) market, creating opportunities for operators to capture value in adjacent areas, including IoT platforms for services such as security, data analytics and professional services. The report also looks at the role of edge computing, which will be key to supporting many 5G use cases.

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