Check out PCIA’s economic impact study here. Published in September 2013, the executive summary (below) will make you want to read more:
Politicians, policy makers, business leaders, the mass media, and the American people are focused on key sectors of the nation’s economy that have the potential to yield significant and rapid increases in employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Leading the pack is the wireless broadband infrastructure sector of the telecommunica- tions-information-entertainment (T-I-E) industry that, as this report demonstrates, can deliver both of these major economic benefits at relatively low cost. The infrastructure that enables wireless broadband represents a vital and sustaining technology capable of rapidly creating jobs, applications, and technologies that will maintain the nation’s global technological, political, and economic-business leadership.
This research report by Information Age Economics (IAE) estimates that industryprojected mobile broadband investments of between $34-36 billion per year will increase GDP in 2017 by 1.6% to 2.2% ($259.1 to $355.3 billion in dollar terms) and generate up to 1.2 million net new jobs, i.e., even after accounting for potential job losses due to increased productivity, outsourcing, etc.1 Importantly, over 28,000 of these jobs are directly attributable to the investment in the build-out of wireless broadband. This significant increase in GDP, due to continued private in- vestment in wireless broadband networks, is achievable because of an anticipated surge in mobile-based technologi- cal innovations and applications, as well as the conventional direct and indirect effects of these additional capital expenditures (capex).
Investing in wireless broadband access infrastructure almost immediately stimulates job and income growth, due to sizable “direct” investment in wireless facilities and expanding network capacity as the industry continues to build-out 3G and 4G systems to every corner of the country. IAE estimates this expansion will add an estimated $85 billion to $87 billion of economic growth per year in direct benefits alone. This significant impact is noteworthy by itself, but investment in wireless broadband infrastructure will also have an “impact catalyst” effect, stimulat- ing more powerful and positive indirect network benefits by deploying and providing available wireless broadband services to all areas of the U.S. These indirect network benefits, offering improved wireless broadband access and higher data speeds, will lead to a plethora of new business formation, while existing businesses and organizations will reap sizable gains in efficiency as they identify new sources of revenue by obtaining and exploiting access to machine-to-machine (M2M), mobile payment, and other productivity-enhancing applications and services. Indeed, the indirect impacts will be add between 1.42% on the low end and 1.69% on the high end in GDP, representing a range of $225 billion and $268 billion of increased economic activity.
In the same vein, consumers will benefit from efficiencies in searching for and buying goods and services, along with information and entertainment content delivered to their mobile devices anywhere at any time. Additionally, consumers will enjoy innovative new forms of entertainment that were not viable, or imaginable, prior to the advent of wireless high speed networks.
Investment in wireless broadband acts as a catalyst to significant economic growth because the direct investments are sizable by themselves while additional network advances create the highway for larger and more profound positive socio-economic effects. As an industry, wireless infrastructure “punches well above its weight” due to its outsized positive effects upon the economy and will be a key ingredient to economic and job growth in the United States for the foreseeable future.