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The Mobile Economy Russia & CIS 2019



Russia will lead the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the commercialisation of 5G services, with the region’s other markets all launching 5G networks by 2025. 5G networks have the potential to transform the digital economy for businesses and citizens alike. This latest report highlights how Russia and the CIS region is preparing to enter this new era.

The CIS region had 235 million unique mobile subscribers at the end of 2018, with Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan together accounting for 80%. The region has a high unique subscriber penetration rate of 81%, notably in Russia which is approaching saturation point. The mobile industry contributed $101 billion or 4.7% of GDP to the CIS regional economy in 2018, which is forecast to increase to $122 billion (5.1% of GDP) by 2023.

This Mobile Economy report highlights the potential for operators to expand their businesses beyond traditional communications in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), where smart homes and smart buildings will be two key growth verticals out to 2025. The mobile industry is also exploring and implementing applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies, as well as injecting greater funds into the start-up ecosystem to protect itself from disruption and diversify the revenue mix.

The report also highlights how delivering 5G connectivity will increase capital intensity for operators, while current uncertainty around spectrum access could be a potential barrier to releasing value into the digital economy. It argues how 5G networks have the potential to underpin a range of innovative solutions for businesses and consumers; however, policymakers should harness the power of 5G to drive growth and the transformation of traditional industries.



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