O2 believes that the economic impact of 5G could see it overtaking traditional fibre broadband in the UK by 2026.
The UK mobile network operator recently conducted a study into the potential effects of 5G on the post-Brexit economy. Possibly the most interesting conclusion of Tech-onomy: Measuring the impact of 5G on the nation’s economic growth is that the UK will reach a ‘tipping point’ in 2026, with the economic benefits of 5G exceeding those of fibre broadband.
Within a decade, O2 believes that the combined value of 4G and 5G connectivity will add £18.5 billion to the economy, compared to just £17.5 billion for broadband.
O2 also predicts that this country’s “national 5G infrastructure will directly contribute an additional £7 billion a year to the UK economy just six years from rollout”. What’s more, 5G will deliver these benefits in half the time it took for fibre broadband to make a similar impact.
Besides this direct boost to the economy, O2’s report claims that there will be a ‘ripple effect’ from 5G’s introduction that will indirectly boost the UK’s productivity by an extra £3 billion a year.
The key advantage 5G will have over fixed broadband will be its inherent mobility. This will enable the formation of entirely new services and industries, including 3D video calls and a range of new smart home and health applications, among other things.
Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said: “Mobile is the invisible infrastructure that can drive the economy of post-Brexit Britain. The future of 5G promises a much quicker return on investment than fibre broadband, and a range of unprecedented benefits: from telecare health applications to smarter cities to more seamless public services.”
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