A new report published and commissioned by Vodafone UK has found that upgrading to 5G could add as much as £158bn to the UK economy over the next decade, and could transform the way the public accesses vital services.
Investment in 5G could lead to the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, as well as improve the provision of public services across the country.
The report comes as Vodafone marks one year since launching its 5G network in the UK, and looks ahead to how the technology can impact the UK’s economy.
The report, ‘Levelling up: How 5G Can Boost Productivity across the UK’, authored by WPI Economics, highlights the significant economic impact 5G could bring to every region and nation of the UK. It also calls on the Government to ‘unleash the full potential of 5G’ by helping to create the right environment to make the UK a leader. This includes making digital central to the Government’s economic recovery plan and creating the policy, procurement and investment environment to support faster 5G rollout.
Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO said: “5G will play a vital role as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.”
Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister said: “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.”
The report highlights key areas where 5G can support economic growth across the UK:
•High quality digital infrastructure will enable people to continue to work remotely, helping to make towns and villages across the country more attractive places to live and work
•5G private networks will enable manufacturers to dramatically increase efficiency, helping to revive manufacturing across the UK
•5G will be essential to allowing secure and reliable remote access to public services, including patients accessing healthcare and pupils accessing education.
In the five years to 2025, cumulative benefits to UK output stand at more than £38bn, and for the five years to 2030, they stand at more than £120bn. Across a 10-year time frame this means a boost to UK output of £158bn.
Vodafone’s 5G services are available in 44 locations across the UK and 70 locations across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.