There will be more than 400 million 5G connections – equivalent to just over 14% of total mobile connections – in Asia Pacific by 2025, according to GSMA’s Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2022 report.
Today, 5G is commercially available in 14 markets, with others, including India and Vietnam, going live in the coming months.
The advent of the metaverse is expected to drive various 5G use cases. For instance, government bodies in the region have started outlining plans to harness the potential of the platform to increase the efficiency and quality of public services.
South Korea has plans to spend $186.7 million to create its metaverse ecosystem, while Thailand’s Tourism Authority is leveraging the technology to boost tourism in the country.
The report also reveals that mobile technologies and services are a significant contributor to Asia Pacific’s economy.
Mobile technologies and services generate 5% of GDP in the region in 2021, which equates to around $770 billion of economic value. This ecosystem supported approximately 8.8 million jobs last year and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with around $80 billion raised through taxation.
However, this trend can only continue if more people use mobile Internet services.
Currently, only 44% of the population (1.23 billion users) in the region are using mobile Internet services even though mobile broadband networks cover around 96% of the population.
The reasons for this discrepancy include lack of digital skills, affordability and online safety concerns.
“Addressing the usage gap and extending the benefits of the Internet to more people in society is critical. However, it will require a concerted effort by a broad range of stakeholders, working together with mobile operators and other ecosystem players such as device manufacturers and digital content creators, to drive adoption and overcome the barriers we see today,” says GSMA’s Head of Asia Pacific Julian Gorman.