This article was authored by Dylan Bushell-Embling, and was originally posted on telecomasia.net.
An increase in mobile broadband penetration directly causes significant growth in a country's GDP, according to research from Ericsson and the Imperial College of London.
A report into the importance of mobile broadband networks for global economic development found that a 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration triggers a 0.6% to 2.8% rise in GDP.
Report co-author Harald Edquist, Master Researcher in Macroeconomics at Ericsson Research said this marks the first study that has been able to conclude that the introduction of mobile broadband has an immediate positive effect on a country’s economy.
This short-term boost is also accompanied with a longer-term knock-on effect as mobile broadband gradually spreads to different economies.
“Many countries in the developing world have used mobile broadband technology to leapfrog in their economic development in the past 10–15 years,” he said.
“I believe that if these countries, and others, continue to invest wisely in mobile broadband, they will have an excellent opportunity to continue to reap the benefits of continuous productivity improvements and new economic opportunities that simply would not be possible without mobile broadband.”
Ericsson's latest Mobility Report from June estimates that as of the end of 2016 around 3.2 billion subscribers – close to half of the world's population of 7.4 billion – had access to the internet via mobile broadband.