Telefónica’s 02 has written to the Chief Executive of every FTSE 100 company in the UK, encouraging them to participate in the 02 5G Testbed trials.
Mark Evans, O2’s CEO, said 02 wants to work with companies on the FTSE 100 Index in order to understand which processes and use cases would benefit the most from 5G technology. Areas of potential include improving supply chain efficiency, better customer experience and tapping new revenue streams.
Later this year 02 is set to launch its 5G Testbed at the 02 arena in Greenwich, where it will deploy its own localised 5G network. The installation is already thought to be under way but no date has been announced for the launch. Once the network is running and opened up for use, visitors will be able to see a range of 5G demos and try out use cases such as virtual reality, augmented reality and live streaming applications. 5G will initially be available in the 02’s Blueroom VIP bar and its on-site O2 store, and will be rolled out across the whole venue by 2020.
FTSE 100 businesses are being asked to declare their interest in participating in 02’s 5G Testbed trials by September this year. They must meet certain criteria to qualify to take part.
5G’s economic impact
Evans said: “Mobile, and specifically 5G, is one of the UK’s most powerful opportunities to strengthen our economy, enrich our society and outperform on the global stage. Our national Testbed commitment is testament to this belief and we are excited by the value it could create for UK Plc.”
Earlier this year, 02 released a report urging UK business and city leaders to upgrade to 5G “now” or risk missing out on a range of economic and social benefits. The company reckons that 5G could represent up to £6 billion a year in economic value in the UK through reduced household costs, savings on public services and new revenue.