Australia losing 5G race: AMTA calls on Federal Government to implement National Mobile Tech Strategy

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) today released details of its Pre-Federal Budget Submission, urging the Albanese Government to do more to accelerate adoption of 5G enabled technologies or risk realising critical economic benefits and productivity gains.

Despite being an early adopter of 5G, Australia now lags other developed nations in take-up and usage of the technology. Currently, 85 per cent of Australians have 5G coverage, and this is expected to increase to 95 per cent by mid-2025. Despite rapid adoption across Australian households, industry adoption of 5G is still emerging, with just under three quarters (73 per cent) of all businesses in Australia yet to realise its full potential.

Globally, governments are making significant investment to support research and development of new, open wireless technologies. Most recently, the US Government awarded US$42 million to a consortium of US mobile carriers, foreign carriers, universities, and equipment suppliers to establish testing, evaluation, and R&D facilities in Dallas and Washington DC. Funded through the US$1.5 billion Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, the award aims to advance open wireless network technologies, further positioning the US as a leader in 5G innovation.

Louise Hyland, CEO of AMTA said, The slow pace of 5G adoption by businesses threatens to undermine Australia’s technology leadership, and the realisation of significant economic gains.”

“The business case for 5G adoption is compelling. It can resolve some of the biggest challenges facing Australian businesses, including increasing productivity by enhancing decision-making, reducing downtime, and fostering a more agile and competitive business environment,” Hyland added.

“5G has the potential to be transformative across a range of industry sectors from security and energy to transportation, utilities and more. We are calling on the Albanese Government to do more to encourage greater adoption and highlight the applications of 5G – it is so much more than just faster internet,” Hyland said.

“Industry needs to know that 5G is worth investing in, and to do this, they need to see a vote of confidence from Government,” said Hyland.

“We have seen the US Government invest more than a billion dollars into wireless innovation. AMTA and the telecommunications industry are calling on the Australian Government to establish a national policy or strategy for the utilisation of 5G and future generations, including 6G, to fund research and development initiatives that would lead to the development of wireless solutions and applications for Australian businesses. A National Mobile Tech Strategy will demonstrate to industry that these technologies are a critical part of our communications ecosystem. Without a well-defined plan, the potential of 5G will not be realised. A National Mobile Tech Strategy should bring together different government departments and agencies to work together – with input from the mobile telecommunications sector – to maximise the opportunity and benefits of 5G,” continued Hyland.

“Now is the time for the Government to fast-track adoption of 5G technology by businesses to help solve Australia’s productivity problem.”

According to AMTA, a National Mobile Tech Strategy should incentivise specific industries such as healthcare, transportation, and agriculture to adopt 5G solutions. These incentives would support research and development initiatives focused on 5G technology to encourage innovation and collaboration between academia, industry, and government. Furthermore, a National Mobile Tech Strategy would consider ongoing investment in 5G-related training and skills that support the digitalisation of the Australian economy and empower Australia’s workforce to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the digital economy.

In addition to calling for a National Mobile Tech Strategy, AMTA’s Pre-Federal Budget Submission is seeking the government’s ongoing commitment to the expansion and resilience of 5G networks and advancing Australia’s mobile industry by:

  • Improving legislation and regulation sooner rather than later so 5G deployment can gain traction.
  • Finding a pragmatic and realistic approach to setting spectrum auction reserve prices and renewal process.
  • Working in partnership with the industry to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.


“AMTA and the mobile telecommunications industry look forward to engaging with the government to address the challenges of driving greater 5G adoption by business, and ultimately work collaboratively to support these policy priorities,” Hyland concluded.

Read the full AMTA submission here.

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About AMTA


The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) serves as the leading industry body representing Australia’s mobile telecommunications sector. Our mission is to promote an environmentally and socially responsible, safe, and sustainable mobile telecommunications industry, which delivers high-quality, affordable mobile services to Australian customers.



Media contact:

Katie Alstead

+0431 908 284