5G could overtake fibre broadband within 10 years

Posted: 28th March 2017 By: Jon Mundy

5G vs fibre broadband

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.”

Useful reading: What Is 5G


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