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Wireless Broadband To Boost U.S. Economy

Over the next 10 years, mobile broadband implementation is expected to generate $860 billion in additional GDP, a CTIA study finds.

The continued adoption of wireless broadband technologies will have a major positive impact on the U.S. economy, according to a new report by the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association).

Being able to access the Internet on-the-go is expected to generate $860 billion in additional gross domestic product in the next decade due to productivity gains, according to the report entitled "The Increasing Important Impact of Wireless Broadband Technology and Services on the U.S. Economy." (PDF)

The report, conducted by technology consulting firm Ovum, found that 25% of businesses utilized wireless broadband in 2005. That figure is expected to leap to 83% in 2016, Ovum said.

There are six major areas where the deployment and use of wireless broadband can provide tangible economic benefits:

  • Resource and inventory management and documentation.
  • Health care efficiency enhancements.
  • Field service automation.
  • Inventory loss reduction.
  • Sales force automation.
  • Replacement of desk phones with mobile wireless devices.

The health-care industry and small businesses are expected to realize significant benefits from an increased rollout and adoption of mobile broadband.

One example the report spotlights is Wound Technology Network, a physician network. This health-care company implemented Verizon EV-DO cards to provide anywhere, anytime access to patient records, patient treatment visuals, and expert advice. This could lead to approximately $30 to $40 million in total cost savings due to improved efficiency, Ovum said.

In addition, the report said there are plenty of opportunities for other enterprises to utilize mobile broadband for cost savings and productivity gains. For example, Avis utilizes wireless broadband so customer can check in for rental cars while on the bus from the airport terminal to the rental car lot. This improved customer satisfaction and retention, the study found.

This study comes as Sprint inches closer to deployment of their WiMax technology, and other carriers prepare their 4G networks.

For the report, Ovum utilized data from the Department of Labor Statistics and information from wireless carriers, financial reports, and case studies.

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