Impact assessment of 5G and a 4th mobile entrant in Belgium

Project executed on behalf of the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Project Objective

This project, carried out on behalf of the Belgian ICT regulator, BIPT, aimed at providing an answer to the ongoing discussions in the country about the economic and environmental impact of 5G and a 4th new mobile entrant in the country, in terms of:

  • Economic impact: GDP, investment, consumer surplus, employment.
  • Environmental impact: Non-ionising electromagnetic radiations, energy consumption, e-waste generation, GHG emissions.

Project Description

The evaluation of the economic and environmental impact of 5G and a 4th mobile entrant was performed from three different perspectives, namely:

  • Assessment of the literature available in the public domain. We put together the findings reached in over 20 reports in terms of, among others: 5G contribution to GDP and employment, investment required to deploy 5G, and implications of the market structure (namely, number of MNOs) on retail prices.
  • Development of a techno-economic model. We implemented a Bottom-Up model to calculate the implications of 5G and a 4th mobile entrant on: Energy consumption (see exhibit below with the expected evolution of the power efficiency per GB with and without 5G), investment required to deploy 5G, costs associated with the market entry of a 4th MNO under different operational scenarios (e.g., different network sharing options, use of national roaming), and impact of a 4th MNO on the existing MNOs in terms of number of sites, costs, etc.
Figure 1: Expected evolution of the power efficiency per GB with and without 5G
  • Implementation of a business-case assessment of the 4th mobile entrant. This assessment relied on our findings on the impact of a 4th MNO on market prices, subscriptions and revenues, looking at the evolution of such indicators in countries that have experienced the entry of a 4th MNO in the last years.

 

The results obtained through these three approaches were put together to maximise the representativeness and robustness of the study.

The outcomes reached through our study were presented to the key public authorities in charge of the Belgian mobile market, including the different regional cabinets and the Minister of Civil Service, Public Enterprises, Telecommunications and Post.

Key Takeaways

BIPT gained a thorough, and updated, understanding of the economic and environmental implications of deploying 5G and introducing a 4th mobile operator in the country. This understanding has facilitated decision-making processes within the BIPT’s strategic roadmap and its ongoing exchanges with stakeholders. The study can be downloaded here.