Exclusive: Mobiles Contribute Significantly to GDP Growth

Berlin, 26 September 2013: A new study published by the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications shows the effect of the increase of mobile phone subscriptions on the GDP growth across tend countries. The effects are all positive for the years 2010 to 2020 and grow continuously in this period. They range between 1.8% in the UK and 24.9% in Egypt (compared with today’s GDP). Mobile phones enable new services and applications often providing opportunities to generate income. Furthermore, the access to information and increased communication through mobile communication facilities coordination resulting in productivity gains. Finally, mobile phones enable immediate response to crisis and shocks that without them may lead to destruction of crops or machinery.

 

Amount of US $ of additional GDP linked to growth of mobile cellular subscriptions (2012-2020)

Projection: Growth in mobile cellular subscriptions

(2012-2020 in %)

% of GDP growth between 2010 and 2012 due to the increase in mobile phone subscriptions.

China

131 US$

70%

9.9%

Egypt

85

55

19.6%

Germany

742

26

6.3

India

51

69

11.4

Italy

455

15

1.1

Kenya

28

4

1.5

South Africa

241

65

11.0

Spain

514

23

4.7

Turkey

164

21

1.8

UK

469

12

-2

 

Effects tend to be larger in developing countries. This is explained by the significantly higher growth rates of mobile phone subscriptions in these countries. In practice, mobile phones fill the gap that other poor or non-existent infrastructure in these countries leave wide open. It is therefore not surprising that many innovations related to mobile phones are adopted more quickly in developing countries than in developed countries. Finally, mobile phones are often the first and the one way of communication without having to travel under difficult circumstances. In developed countries, we find smaller effects for mobile phones subscriptions on economic growth. In these counters, effects are likely to be less pronounced due to less growth in mobile phone subscriptions in forthcoming years and generally good infrastructure.

The Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications was founded in 2011. With this study, the Institute aims to provide an initial overview of the fundamental impact that mobile technologist are having on our lives. The study was conducted by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) and explores the ways in which mobile technologies influence economics, society and people’s   private lives. In addition to shedding light on changes in developed countries, the study focuses in particular on the progress brought about by the adoption of mobile phones in developing countries and emerging markets.

The study bases its findings on numerous sources, including interviews with ten acknowledged experts in the field, and a worldwide survey of Vodafone country experts. On the basis of data, the IW has been able to quantify the economic and social effects of mobile technologies for the time.

 

 

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