The U.S. wireless industry added $475 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2016 and generated more than $1 trillion in overall economic output, according to a new analysis released by an industry group.
The report from Accenture Strategy, commissioned by CTIA, also found that the sector directly supported 4.7 million jobs, and that for every one of those positions, 7.7 total jobs were created throughout the economy.
“As the wireless industry continues to play a significant role in the U.S. economy, it is turning to the potential of 5G to accelerate innovation and growth by scaling small cell wireless infrastructure,” Tejas Rao, who leads Accenture’s network 5G efforts, said in a statement.
The study utilized an economic contribution model to estimate the industry’s impact on a state and national level.
Of the sector’s overall $475 billion impact, direct activity — including product sales and service — accounted for $147 billion, while indirect activity from adjacent industries, such as semiconductor manufacturers or other suppliers, comprised $207 billion. Induced activity — increased spending due to wireless-related income — accounted for the remaining $121 billion.
Accenture analysts said the large number of wireless subscribers — equivalent to more than 1 device for every American — and a more than 200 percent spike in data traffic in past two years fueled the industry’s direct contributions, but noted that other connected devices, such as fitness trackers or intelligent in-home products, will continue to bolster network demand.
The wireless industry’s indirect contributions, meanwhile, included $21 billion for wireline telecom companies and $16 billion for device manufacturing, but also $25 billion in the real estate sector, $11 billion in advertising and $10 billion in employment services.
CTIA officials said the report highlighted the need for policymakers to ensure the U.S. can win the race to 5G networks and technology.
“We know that the next-generation of wireless will represent an even bigger boost to the economy,” President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement.