A lot has been said about 5G, but now that it is a reality, how will it change and how is it already changing our lives? This question was answered by the “Smart Italy 5G” report carried out by the TIM Research Centre and available for download here.
Unprecedented connectivity performance and greatly reduced latency: 5G is a paradigm leap in technological terms and an economic accelerator for the telecommunications sector and the overall economy. Using the econometric model of the GSMA and Frontiers Economics, the TIM Research Centre calculates the total contribution of 5G to the growth of Italian GDP in the twenty-year period between 2021 and 2040 at €393 billion, of which €160 billion will be generated by services for people, while the remaining €233 billion will represent revenue from services provided via the IoT.
Healthcare savings: from prevention to patient care
Healthcare is one of the most impacted sectors, for which 5G ensures, more than ever, advanced and reliable technological performance. Telesurgery and connected ambulances, remote assistance for chronic patients and the management of sensor-rich wearable devices, such as smart watches and smart t-shirts, are just some of the applications made possible by 5G.
Wearable devices, technology you can wear, in particular, benefit from normalised sensors for monitoring physical activity. According to a survey conducted by SWG for Operazione Risorgimento Digitale, 65.9% of Italians believe that the introduction of 5G networks will increase the use of smart watches and other devices which collect biomedical data in real time. A trend that could promote prevention and significantly reduce the costs of managing chronic and degenerative diseases.
Wearable devices that allow real-time data to be collected also have very significant effects in other sectors, such as insurance. Thanks to these devices, it is in fact possible to stipulate personalised life insurance policies, with a possible saving of €32 million for Italian consumers. But not only that, the increase in biometric data will lead to a containment of research and development expenditure for drug testing. Overall, the economic advantage brought by 5G in the healthcare sector will be around €1 billion.
Advantages for the manufacturing, automotive, transport and logistics industries
5G-enabled smart manufacturing will have significant effects on the Italian manufacturing industry, the second largest market in Europe. For 2025, the direct benefits from 5G technology will amount to a total of €2.5 billion per year.
Even more significant are the data from the automotive sector, where 5G is at the basis of the main development trends, such as the energy transition, self-driving and connected cars, car sharing, and it will generate, again for 2025, overall benefits of €3.2 billion per year.
Logistics and transportation also offer important applications, from fleet management to predictive vehicle diagnostics and maintenance, or the remote and real-time management of critical parameters of large hubs, such as ports, airports and train stations. If we consider that the costs of this sector, on average, make up 10% to 15% of the final costs of goods and services, the savings enabled by 5G can have a particularly high impact. According to the analysis of the report by the TIM Research Centre, between the recovery of inefficiencies and the value of the availability of data on transport carriers, it is possible to calculate an economic benefit of over €1 billion in 2030.
5G for the utilities market: the economic benefits and the cultural turning point
With over €42 billion in annual turnover, companies which provide public and environmental services to citizens represent a strategic sector of the economy, as well as the premise for the growth of many other sectors and the competitive development of our country. The use of 5G for utilities, from smart meters to smart management of energy flows, from chargers for electric vehicles to real-time control of leaks and water quality, was among the first test beds for the digitisation of services. Not only that, it has allowed the habits of many end consumers to evolve, overcoming cultural obstacles and generational resistance. The overall economic benefits of over €2 billion a year in 2025 represent a further push for change.