One of the leading technology multinationals, Ericsson believes that wise investment in mobile broadband will unlock the economic potentials of developing countries.
“Many countries in the developing world have used mobile broadband technology to leapfrog in their economic development in the past 10 to15 years,” says Harald Edquist, master researcher in macro-economics at Ericsson Research and one of the report authors.
“I believe that if these countries, and others, continue to invest wisely in mobile broadband, they will have an excellent opportunity to continue to reap the benefits of continuous productivity improvements and new economic opportunities that simply would not be possible without mobile broadband.”
Mobile broadband penetration has been on a continuous rise in recent years, of which any 10% increase will add up to 0.6% to 2.8% in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In a recent report from Ericsson titled “How Important Are Mobile Broadband Networks for Global Economic Development?”, Ericsson says a 0.6% to 2.8% rise in GDP translated to an equivalent of approximately $500 billion to $2 trillion worldwide in 2016.
According to Ericsson, previous reports have examined fixed broadband, and researchers have only been able to estimate its effect on economic growth.
This study, on the other hand, has been able to conclude the introduction of mobile broadband has an immediate positive effect on a country’s economy, and a longer-term knock-on effect as mobile broadband gradually spreads to different economies.
A recent Ericsson Mobility Report states that at the end of 2016, around 3.2 billion subscribers (out of the world’s total population of 7.4 billion) had access to the Internet via mobile broadband technology.
It is forecast that an additional 2.6 billion subscribers will have mobile broadband Internet access by 2022.
Currently, mobile broadband networks cover around 50% of the population, by implication 600 million people in the region do not have access to a mobile broadband service.
To ensure efficient mobile broadband adoption, stable and efficient policies and regulations are essential for mobile operators to have the best conditions to roll out mobile broadband networks in underserved areas, says Ericsson. Private investment depends heavily on the regulatory climate, it adds.
“We have always challenged traditional ways of thinking. Being true to our company purpose of innovating technology for good and creating new economic opportunities, we make life better, whether through connecting people in new ways, building technologies for industries in transformation or creating a more inclusive society.
This is set to continue as we enter an era of 5G, IOT and cloud network infrastructure.”