In brief

In brief

  • This report outlines the profound impact of 5G on the economy.
  • Our economic modeling analysis shows 5G will significantly drive sales growth in the next five years, add to the European GDP.
  • We examine the technological state of five key industries with applicable 5G use cases, growth opportunities and recommend acceleration levers.
  • 5G is a force of economic growth and resiliency, unlocking the potential of Artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing and Internet of things (IoT).

The impact of 5G on the European economy

5G is the world’s next technological breakthrough and hugely significant upon the European economy. In this report, we examine the economic benefit driven by 5G.

Our economic modeling analysis shows the impact of 5G on the European economy from 2021-2025 in several ways:

  • 5G has the potential to create or transform up to 20 million jobs* across all sectors of the economy, which includes full-time, part-time and temporary jobs*.
  • European economy will drive up to €2.0 trillion in additional gross output (sales) growth.
  • 5G will add up to nearly €1.0 trillion to the European GDP.
  • Multiplier effects will be felt in every industry. For example, every job* created by 5G within the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector will create an estimated 1.8 additional jobs* for a total of up to 2.5 total jobs* throughout the economy.
GDP Jobs

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About the study

5G labor effect

5G will generate significant employment throughout the economy, creating as many as 10% more jobs*. The represents a mix of temporary, part-time and full-time jobs* across all industries.

5G industry transformation

5G can offer rich bi-directional communications support potentially one million devices per square kilometer and deliver ultra-reliable millisecond response.

These capabilities enabled by 5G drive a variety of use cases, paving the way for the economy to realize the cross-industry benefits of magnified connectivity. These innovations impact trillions of euros.

5G shapes key industry use cases and drives significant outcomes for companies and people, alike.


5G-enabled factories experience about 20-30% overall productivity gains including up to 50% in assembly time, up to 20% in asset life and up-to 90% in defect detection.


Improved connectivity and digitization can yield up to 25% increased productivity, 20% decreased costs, and 15% increased crop yields.


5G allows the support of remote ICU beds enabling expanded ICU capability virtually.


Connected vehicle technologies reduce the severity of non-impaired accidents by up-to 70%, potentially saving €450 million in collision costs, while automotive trains will potentially reclaim more than €440 million in lost productivity.


Two-way communication energy grids using smart sensors and meters can save households billions of euros, and drive down 12% of energy use.

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5G will lead to the creation of industries not yet imagined. There are tangible and realizable acceleration opportunities to speed up the deployment process and maximize the benefits.

5G acceleration opportunities

The benefits of 5G are immense, but require critical mass of network deployment, R&D and production of new devices across industries, along with significant investment from every major sector in the European economy. There are prominent opportunities to accelerate this benefit, securing Europe’s role as a 5G leader:

Intellectual property (IP), technology & ecosystem

Create a 5G national strategy for innovation, industrial and ecosystem support with IP legal protection.

Resilient wireless technology supply chain

Develop policy to foster innovation and design within semiconductor, wireless device, and network equipment industries.

Build out the radio access network (RAN)

Open RAN, enables interoperability and standardization of RAN functions to make integration across the RAN ecosystem easier and to drive down costs.

End user return on investment

Establish subsidies and tax incentives to encourage pilot projects, demonstrating the benefits & possibilities of the technology.

Mid-band spectrum availability

Prioritize and accelerate the release and allocation of critical mid-band spectrum, especially bands that are planned for global harmonization.

Regulatory restrictions

Foster collaboration in the private sector and government to promote enhanced security and economic benefits and accelerated timelines for 5G success.

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*Includes full-time, part-time and temporary jobs; Assumes no labor supply constraints, some of these jobs will be replaced by upward pressure on prevailing wages instead; as the US labor market recovers, much of the ~10 million (Jan 2021) unemployed may fill jobs enabled by 5G.

About the Authors

Jefferson Wang

Senior Managing Director – Cloud First Networks and 5G Lead

Hillol Roy

Managing Director – Cloud First Networks, Technology and Innovation Lead

Syed Alam

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting, Semiconductor, Global Lead

Tejas Rao

Managing Director – Cloud First Networks, Ecosystem and Partnership Lead

Samir Ahshrup​

Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Technology Strategy & Advisory

William McCluskey

Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Communications & Media


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