5G coverage to accelerate across Asia Pacific but usage gap remains significant: GSMA

5G coverage is set to accelerate across the Asia Pacific but the usage gap will remain significant said a new report by GSMA. It should be noted that broadband networks cover around 96 per cent of the population in the region. However, just 44 per cent of the population (1.23 billion users) are using mobile internet services.

According to the report, the reasons for this discrepancy include lack of digital skills, affordability and online safety concerns. “Addressing the usage gap and extending the benefits of the internet to more people in society is critical,” said GSMA’s Head of Asia Pacific, Julian Gorman. “However, it will require a concerted effort by a broad range of stakeholders, working together with mobile operators and other ecosystem players such as device manufacturers and digital content creators, to drive adoption and overcome the barriers we see today.”

5G is commercially available in 14 markets, including India and Vietnam, going live in the coming months. It should be noted that mobile technologies and services continue to make a significant contribution to Asia Pacific’s economy, generating 5 per cent of GDP in the region in 2021, which equates to around $ 770 billion of economic value. The report reveals that the mobile internet including 3G and 4G services raised approximately 8.8 million jobs in 2021 and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with around $ 80 billion raised through taxation.

According to the report, by 2025, there will be more than 400 million 5G connections, equivalent to over 14 per cent of total mobile connections. “Progress is more advanced in countries like Australia, Japan and South Korea and in Singapore 5G is expected to account for 55 percent of the country’s connections by 2025,” the company said in its report.

Further, the report also highlights the various 5G use cases and other related activities in the region. South Korea has plans to spend $ 186.7 million to create its metaverse ecosystem, and Thailand’s Tourism Authority leveraged the technology to boost tourism in the country, and it is placing its bets on 5G services.

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