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CEO DATELINE – Association: Wireless industry major economic driver during last decade

July 29, 2020
By Walt Williams

The wireless industry accounted for nearly 10% of GDP growth during the previous decade and could remain a major economic driver as wireless carriers prepare to rollout 5G networks, according to a new study commissioned by CTIA-The Wireless Association.

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The report by CTIA and Recon Analytics examined the economic impacts of the industry from 2011 to 2019. It concluded the growth of 4G (fourth-generation) networks during that time frame supported 20 million U.S. jobs, drove nearly $700 billion in economic contribution last year alone and saved consumers $130 billion each year.

As for the last point, the study found that the average an unlimited data, talk and text plan cost $113.87 on average for one line in 2010. By 2019, that same plan cost $64.95.

“Our 4G success didn't happen overnight: investment dollar by investment dollar, cell site by cell site, America's wireless industry brought the benefits of high-speed mobile broadband to communities across America, creating  jobs, powering economic growth and spurring innovations that make our lives better,” CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement. "Over the next decade, our emerging 5G economy will unleash even greater consumer benefits and maintain America's position as the world's innovation hub.”

5G networks will be up to 10 times faster than current 4G networks, according to CNN. However, it will be many years before even a majority of the U.S. has access to 5G.