When it comes to 5G, Australia is a world leader. We have rolled out 4,000 5G base stations across the country. We are ranked third in 5G-connected devices per capita. And by 2025, 95% of Australians will have 5G coverage. A recent PwC report produced for Austrade found that 5G in Australia has the potential to unlock billions of dollars in value-added industry uplift by 2030.
This creates multibillion-dollar opportunities in industries such as agriculture, health, ICT, manufacturing, mining, transport and utilities.
These opportunities include:
- 5G-enabled innovation. According to Mohammad Chowdhury, PwC Strategy’s Telco, Media and Technology Leader, “Australia is an ideal location to develop and test products and services to be deployed in other markets. It also presents a sizeable stand-alone investor opportunity in some industries, such as mining, health and renewables.”
- Collaborating and co-investing with local companies and industries. 5G innovation has accelerated in Australia due to such partnerships between companies and across industries. For example, Telstra collaborated with Ericsson and Microsoft to begin 5G-enabled edge compute trials earlier this year. Similarly, Australian technology companies M2M Connectivity and ARQ Group formed a partnership to deliver digital twin technology for mining companies looking to use 5G to increase production efficiency and lower operational costs.
Alongside R&D tax incentives and other broader business support opportunities available, Australian governments provide the following incentives aimed at broadening regional 5G coverage:
- The Regional Connectivity Program (the RCP) is providing millions of dollars in Commonwealth funding for telecommunications infrastructure projects. The projects aim to boost digital connectivity across regional, rural, and remote Australia.
- The NSW Regional Digital Connectivity program has committed over A$400 million to improve regional connectivity through large-scale investment with the telecommunications industry.
- The Victorian Government has committed A$550 million through Connecting Victoria. This will see the Victorian Government partner with telecommunications providers to co-invest in developing and delivering new infrastructure for better mobile and broadband connectivity.