The COVID-19 health crisis has also implied an economic crisis that surprised all world economies. Perhaps a first alert came with the Mobile World Congress 2020 that was suspended for fear of the expansion of the coronavirus in the city of Barcelona and the rest of Spain. In these pandemic times, technology has proven to be the key to economic activity. The home office has meant in many cases the possibility of staying on business for many companies. Having a 5G network is essential in these difficult times.
The European telecommunications industry has been clear: the telecommunications infrastructure is a fundamental nucleus of the social and economic cohesion of Europe. It is the main mechanism for businesses to emerge from the current crisis. Also, it is a perfect means to achieve sustainable and lasting economic growth.
The 5G value for European economic expansion
In June 2020, the GSMA, at the international level, and the ETNO (European Telecommunications Operators Network) had warned of the importance of 5G for economic expansion in the European Union. The reason is that it generates a promotion of European competitiveness at an economic, social, and global level.
Experts agree that new technologies not only operate on our mobile phones but will also breakthrough the business environment.
The new network (fifth generation), will develop telemedicine, help the implementation of the internet of things and online education. As a consequence, it is going to accelerate many economic and social areas, and it will help all of us to be more connected globally.
According to the GSMA, the organization representing the interests of mobile operators globally, 5G will be the backbone of Europe’s economic recovery and will drive the shift towards greener vertical industries. Computing, data, and artificial intelligence will be the building blocks of the new economy.
The estimations of the European Commission
According to European Commission estimations, prior to this COVID 19 health crisis, the digital economy was expected to add 1.1 percentage points to the European Union’s annual economic growth and boost GDP by more than 14% by 2030. That would have meant 2 trillion euros of GDP by 2030, roughly equal to Italy’s gross domestic product last year.
We know that governments are under enormous financial pressure. They will need to prioritize financing their healthcare systems, small businesses, and unemployed workers. We will have to find innovative solutions for the 500 million euros of investments in public and private sectors that will be needed to build a 5G infrastructure that can drive growth in the region.
Leading the conversations on digital change is critical to the GSMA. In a crisis, those conversations are often about innovation and adaptation. As a result, new models of success are born. And there will be no better place to share those success stories than in Barcelona at MWC 2021.
The importance of connectivity in confined conditions
When we are in quarantine at home, being able to access the Internet keeps us connected to the world, to the news, to society, and also to our friends and family. It is essential to feel part of the community even when being isolated within your walls. Read more about the importance of connectivity in crisis in our post.
Authorized world voices, such as Antonio Battro, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Argentine National Academy of Education. He is also a pioneer in the use of computer science applied to education as well as an expert in the study of the brain. He affirms at El diario Alerta that “millions of people are connected in the world. And if it had not been for this connectivity, which is not total, but is very important, it would have been much more difficult to fight the pandemic successfully. It is a very important help to be connected”.
In 2017, Battro, along with other leading academic members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, issued a statement. This statement urged the international community to consider Internet connectivity as a human right and to guarantee its free usage for anyone who might need it.
“That meeting (at the Vatican) was prescient because no one had the slightest idea that this global disaster (the pandemic) was coming, and it now reveals in practice the absolutely essential importance of connectivity.“
The importance of the 5th generation for the economic recovery: conclusion
The global health risk and the economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic are accelerating the process towards effective connectivity between individuals, institutions, companies, and governments. But the diversity of situations is enormous, and even within advanced countries differences continue, says Battro.
As it can be seen, the main representative entities of world mobile operators and international computer experts point out the following. The5th generation of wireless communication technologies and standards will be essential for the economic recovery of the European continent (and other continents). It’ll happen once when we will be able to overcome the COVID crisis, with the help of vaccines and medicines.