Mobile Nation Report 2019 – The 5G future

The latest Mobile Nation report from the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) and Deloitte Access Economics reveals that, with the fifth generation of mobile technologies (5G), the productivity benefits of mobile telecommunications will be worth $65 billion to the Australian economy by 2023 – equivalent to 3.1% GDP.

The mobile sector is already a significant contributor to the Australian economy, supporting nearly $23 billion of Australia’s GDP. With the 5G mobile network set to launch this year, the report forecasts that the broader economic benefits of mobile will contribute more than the entire contribution of the agricultural industry – equivalent to $2,500 value added for every Australian.

5G will create a gradual transition to a more networked and connected society, it will shift the way Australians interact with the world and provide greater productivity benefits by streamlining businesses and transforming services to drive Australia’s economy forward.

Key findings include:

  • By 2023 the productivity benefits of mobile will be worth $65 billion to the Australian economy – equivalent to 3.1% of GDP (in 2016-17 dollars). This is equivalent to approximately $2,500 for every Australian and larger than the current entire contribution of the agricultural industry to Australia.
  • Revenue generated by the mobile industry has also significantly grown over the last six years, up 15%, from $22.0 billion in 2011-12 to $25.2 billion in 2017/18.
  • Total value added to Australia’s GDP by the industry was $22.9 billion in 2017-18, including $8.2 billion contributed through direct activities, and $14.7 billion supported through indirect activity in related sectors and across the broader economy.
  • The sector supports over 116,000 full-time equivalent workers, comprising over 25,000 employees directly employed by the industry and 91,200 jobs indirectly supported (nearly four more equivalent full-time roles (3.7) are supported in the economy for every one person directly employed by the industry).
  • The mobile industry is expected to account for 64% of Australian telecommunications service providers’ revenue in 2018-2019.

Key social impact findings include:

  • Mobiles are now seen as a necessity, with 94% of Australians taking their smartphone with them when they leave the house – more than the proportion who take their wallet.
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Australians see their smartphone as being helpful in their daily lives
  • Four in five (84%) find their phone convenient, engaging (69%) while 13% find their mobile phone annoying
  • 60% of Australian households admit that their mobile phones have replaced at least three other items, like cameras, home phones and phone books.
  • People use their mobiles as a safety device. 75% of 000 calls come from mobiles, and 80% say it gives them peace of mind knowing that their mobile is accessible in the case of an emergency. 7 in 10 (71%) Australians also state their mobile helps them feel safer in dangerous situations
  • Over half (53%) of Australians are worried about over-reliance of their mobile phones
  • Almost half of Australians (48%) check their phone at least once every half an hour
  • A third (33%) state their devices helps them have an improved work/life balance
  • 32% of Australians say their mobile increases stress compared to 23% who state that the device reduces their stress
  • 87% of Australians are concerned about data security while 90% have taken at least one active step for online security

John O’Mahony, lead author of the report and partner at Deloitte Access Economics, said: “Australia is a leading mobile nation, and the benefits of mobile telecommunications add value to our lives – both professionally and personally.

“This analysis demonstrates just how integral mobile has become to people and businesses, as well as the significant economic contribution of the industry.

“5G will support even greater productivity as a result of greater connectivity and network capacity, and the economic benefits will be felt across all industries. As 5G becomes a reality, the role of mobile will become even more central to revolutionising the way we interact with the world.”

The report also sheds light on how the mobile industry, which has grown by 43% over the last six years, is an important employer of Australians, and the crucial role it plays across many industries, from small business and healthcare, to transport and financial services.

Chris Althaus, CEO of AMTA, said: “The mobile industry is an enabler of economic growth with the industry itself making a significant contribution to GDP and employment. But the full benefits are much broader as it provides new pathways for businesses to create value, supports productivity and even helps people join the labour force.

“When it comes to the rollout of 5G, Australia is a leader. However, we need the government to play a key role to support the deployment of infrastructure to enable an effective 5G future that benefits Australian business and society while keeping us a global frontrunner.”

In addition to the economic benefits of the mobile industry, mobile technology is an intrinsic part of Australians’ lives, with the majority of people (94%) taking their smartphone with them when they leave the house and two in three (66%) Australians viewing their phones as helpful in their daily lives.

The evolving benefits of mobile are clear and, as technological capabilities increase, there is a growing trend for devices to replace household items, with 60% of Australian households admitting that their mobile phones have replaced at least three other items, like cameras, home phones and phone books.

About the research:

Mobile Nation 2019 – the 5G Future provides an economic analysis of the mobile telecommunications industry in 2017/18, using econometric modelling to estimate how the mobile industry contributes to the economy, both through its own activity and by fostering productivity more broadly.

The report also draws on findings of a bespoke nationally representative survey of over 1000 individuals by Dynata undertaken in January 2019. Survey participants were asked about their use of mobiles as well as attitudes to mobile technology and their online behaviour.

You can read and download the full report here.

And you can find previous Mobile Nation reports here.