CRA Insights

The economics of 5G deployment in the “race” to 5G: The economic effects of adopting new technology

March 22, 2021
Fibre optics, hardware, circuit board in the background

In this Insights we discuss the economic benefits brought by new wireless technologies. Taking an international view, we estimate the effect on national GDP from the transition from 3G to 4G wireless technology that occurred primarily in the 2010s—the most recent technological innovation wave to have reached majority penetration rates in the countries studied.

Our results show that a one percentage point increase in the 4G penetration rate increased national GDP per capita by 0.035 percent, all else equal, over the countries studied. This is a statistically and economically significant effect.

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