Equal Access to 5G Will Accelerate Economies and Propel Social Development Globally

Feb 13, 2020 11:20 AM ET

The fifth generation (5G) mobile network is rolling out globally. 5G will change the world by advancing mobile from technology that connects people to people and people to information, to a unified fabric connecting people to everything. It will create new opportunity and provide a platform for invention. It will enable new products and services, foster business innovation, transform industries, spur economic growth and elevate living standards.

Qualcomm is working to bring the full potential of 5G to fruition by making the technology accessible to everyone on the planet.

The 5G Economy, a landmark study commissioned by Qualcomm and conducted by IHS Markit in 2017 and updated in 2019, focused on long-term economic contributions of 5G. The study found that when 5G reaches its full potential in 2035, it will enable USD $13.2 trillion of global economic output and support 22.3 million jobs.

The Impact of 5G: Creating New Value across Industries and Society, a white paper published by the World Economic Forum, states that 5G can deliver social value across 11 key areas of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Qualcomm has long been committed to making sure no one is left behind in the mobile age. Our goal is to spur social and economic development, particularly in underserved regions, by ensuring equal access to advanced wireless technology. Here’s a look at how we’re achieving this goal in the 5G-fueled invention age.

Increase connectivity. Qualcomm Wireless Reach™ is a strategic corporate responsibility initiative that brings advanced wireless technologies to underserved communities globally. We work with many different stakeholders to create localized solutions that use mobile technology to foster entrepreneurship, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning, aid in public safety and improve the state of the environment. To date, Wireless Reach has implemented 119 programs, impacting 18 million people across 47 countries. In China, for example, the Qualcomm 21st Century Classroom program demonstrates how mobile technology can help modernize education and supports the Chinese government’s national “Three Connections, Two Platforms” plan. Over 9,000 students and 450 teachers have benefitted from this program.

Incentivize innovation. Inventing breakthrough technology to benefit societies requires significant time and financial investment. The intellectual property (IP) system in the United States incentivizes inventors to invest in innovation. Federal IP laws ensure that when an inventor’s idea takes off, the inventor will reap the rewards. Strong policies around IP are needed globally to protect and support all inventors to bring their ideas to fruition. Qualcomm advocates for policies that help build a culture of innovation by incentivizing IP. 

Workforce development. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education supports the brainpower behind the inventions our Company brings to life. Having STEM skills is crucial for success in technology-related careers and to help people globally address future challenges. Through our Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab™ program and our ongoing collaboration with FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), we’re helping build a diverse and inclusive workforce of the future. We’re increasing access to STEM education and showing students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds that they can be part of inventing the wireless world of the future.

5G presents exciting opportunities for people globally to connect, compute and communicate. Let’s work together to ensure no one is left behind.