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5G represents €113.1bn opportunity for EU countries

A European Commission study published this week claims that rolling out 5G could benefit EU member states to the tune of €113.1 billion per year by 2025.

The next-generation of mobile technology is also expected to create as many as 2.3 million jobs across the EU, and generate trickle-down benefits worth as much €141 billion.

The study was carried out on behalf of the Commission by wireless kit maker InterDigital, research firm Real Wireless, consultancy Tech4i2, and Connect – which is Trinity College Dublin's network research centre.

"The goal of this study was to investigate what 5G might actually mean for industries, including the mobile industry, as well as various other stakeholders. This study should provide a basis for regulators, other public authorities and various stakeholders to plan future policy in areas such as spectrum allocation planning and future market regulation," said Alan Carlton, vice president of InterDigital Europe, in a statement on Wednesday.

The study arrived at the €113.1 billion figure by calculating the benefits derived by two groupings: first-order benefits across four vertical industries, namely automotive, healthcare, transport, and utilities, will account for €62.5 billion worth of benefits.

Meanwhile, second-order benefits across four 'environments' – smart cities, smart home, workplace, and non-urban – will account for the remaining €50.6 billion.

Of course, with 5G still under development, it remains to be seen exactly what networks will be capable of, and how these capabilities translate into financial benefits.

For the purposes of the European Commission's study, three major capabilities were identified: ubiquitous 50 Mbps mobile broadband coverage; support for large-scale M2M and IoT networks; and the ultra-tactile Internet, which promises to enable new applications and services based on human-to-device, and device-to-device interactions.

According to the study, the cost of rolling out 5G networks across EU member states will total €56 billion by 2020.