The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research today released its assessment of the potential impacts of 5G on Australia’s productivity and growth.

9 April 2018

The working paper Impacts of 5G on productivity and economic growth aims to inform consideration of any changes to regulatory settings that may be needed to support the rollout and adoption of 5G services. It provides estimates of the costs and benefits that may stem from 5G and the impacts on businesses and consumers.

The working paper complements the 5G—Enabling the future economy directions paper, which sets out how the Australian Government will work to ensure that the policy and regulatory environment is updated to take advantage of 5G.

Key findings from the Bureau’s analysis include:

  • 5G is likely to have a positive effect on productivity growth across the Australian economy. Early estimates suggest that 5G could add up to $2,000 in gross domestic product per capita at the end of the first decade after the rollout.
  • The industries where Australia is already telecommunications-intensive, including the Information, Media and Telecommunications, Arts and Entertainment, Education and Wholesale and Retail sectors are well placed to take advantage of 5G services.
  • Not all the benefits from 5G will be captured in ‘dollar values’—the additional choice and reduction in costs driven by 5G-enabled technology is likely to improve the wellbeing of consumers and households.
  • The economic impact of 5G will be determined by the extent to which it is an improvement on previous mobile technology, or if it is a ‘general purpose technology’—one typically associated with industrial revolutions.
  • Australia is well-positioned to make the most of 5G technology. Australia’s use of telecommunications-enabled goods and services ranks well in comparison with the United States, Canada, Germany and South Korea.

The Bureau’s working paper is available at: www.communications.gov.au/bcar.