By Ben Munson | September 22, 2014

The North American mobile industry accounted for $550 billion, or three percent of the GDP in the region in 2013, according to a new report from the GSMA.

The GSMA expects that total to grow to $620 billion by 2020. It found that mobile ecosystem directly supports 1.1 million jobs—and another 380,000 indirectly—while contributing more than $63 billion in public funding. That funding total does not include regulatory or spectrum fees.

Highlighting the economic force of the North American wireless industry, GSMA said the United States and Canada support 85 million 4G connections, nearly double that of Japan, which sits in second place with 43.9 million. Excluding M2M, total mobile connections in North America stood at 341 million for the region at the end of 2013, but the total number of unique subscribers was well under that number, coming in 250 million.

GSMA says that one in four North American mobile connections are 4G.

The path to 4G saturation has been swifter than the 3G movement. GSMA estimates, from their respective initial launches, it took two and a half years to cover 95 percent of the North American population with 4G while it took nearly four years to reach the same coverage with 3G.

As GSMA is kicking off its Mobile 360 event in Atlanta, the association also released reports highlighting M2M progress in North America.

By the end of 2013, GSMA estimates the U.S. tallied 39 million M2M connections, accounting for 19 percent of the global total. The country is expected to reach 41 million connections by the end of 2014.

By 2020, GSMA Intelligence predicts M2M connections will account for 10 percent of the global mobile market.

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