5G shift to result in productivity boost worth over £150 billion — Vodafone

Carried out a year after the launch of its 5G network, the report from Vodafone has forecasted the technology to be key to increasing productivity and improving the provision of public services across the UK.

Within the next five years, up to 2025, cumulative benefits to UK output are set to add up to over £38 billion, according to the research, and between 2025 and 2030, this is projected to total more than £120 billion.

In terms of particular areas that are predicted to thrive with the aid of 5G, digital infrastructure is set to receive a boost, allowing for continued remote working beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, while manufacturing could see increased efficiency by using private networks.

In addition, public services such as healthcare and education have been identified as beneficiaries, with 5G being cited as essential for secure and reliable remote access.

“5G will play a vital role as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK.

“It is crucial to recognise the role that fast and reliable connectivity will play in unlocking the digital potential that exists in every nation and region across the UK.

“5G will provide new and exciting opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes and across all sectors.”

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Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister, added: “We are determined to deliver the benefits of faster and secure 5G technology for homes and businesses across the UK.

“Our ongoing work to remove the barriers to industry rollout has meant 5G networks have already been switched on in more than 70 towns and cities.

“We are also investing £200m in 5G trials to speed up deployment and boost the development of new applications so we can seize the social and economic opportunities of this revolutionary technology.”

However, according to Guillermo Pedraja, head of networks, 5G & IoT consulting at NTT DATA UK, stakeholders in the technology require more clarity from government as to the vendors they can involve in operations, if they are to truly succeed.

“5G is a gateway for businesses to enter into a more innovative and productive future,” said Pedraja. “Its low latency, high capacity connectivity is an unprecedented opportunity to realise the benefits of next-generation technology in smart city and connected factory environments.

“Businesses can create more secure, dynamic, and reliable networks – supported by the real-time exchange of data between connected devices.

“Looking ahead, telecoms providers need a clear vision and elevated ambition from government about the future of the UK’s 5G networks, in particular a definitive answer on the equipment vendors cleared for involvement in UK 5G infrastructure. This will give businesses a clear road-map for the future, and reinforce the predicted boost in productivity from this revolutionary technology.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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