5G could supercharge the UK economy by up to £15.7bn per year by 2025
New research from Barclays Corporate Banking shows that 5G could supercharge the UK economy by up to £15.7bn per year by 2025 – but the opportunity could be missed because industry leaders still do not know enough about the benefits of investing in the technology.
Under an ‘optimistic scenario’, which anticipates an accelerated rollout of 5G and an enhanced uptake amongst UK businesses and consumers, the UK will see a £15.7bn increase in business revenue by 2025. A slower-than-anticipated rollout and limited use would deliver around £8.3bn of added revenue to the UK, while the current pace of development added revenue would reach £13bn.
The optimistic scenario could be a reality for British businesses, as mobile providers are already beginning to introduce 5G capabilities on a large scale this year, including pilots underway in London, the Midlands, Edinburgh and Belfast.
The Government is also supporting 5G by incorporating it into its Industrial Strategy, having pledged £1bn towards digital infrastructure. The bidding process for 5G licenses, meanwhile, opened to the telecoms industry last year.
Accelerated rollout spells a positive picture for regional growth, which would provide opportunities outside the usual technology hubs of London (£4.1bn increased business revenue) and the South East (£2.5bn). The North West (£1.4bn), East of England (£1.3bn) and the South West (£1.1bn) make up the rest of the top five. Scotland comes close to, but just behind, the South West, also at £1.1bn – showing that 5G development is not an initiative that will just benefit a small pocket of the country.
The new Barclays research revealed that a majority of businesses (58%) are already benefitting from fast communications technology like 4G and ultrafast broadband. This is because it allows companies to operate across disparate locations (59%), communicate with customers and potential customers (49%) and connect multiple machines and devices (48%).
5G can further enhance these operations through benefits including peak data rates 20 times faster than 4G and simultaneous connections for one million devices per square kilometer.
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