A new Vodafone report has demonstrated the huge productivity boost that could result when the UK fully moves over from 4G to 5G.
At a time when the UK economy - like most world economies - is struggling from a steep post-Covid–19 downturn, Vodafone sees the move from 4G to 5G as an essential shot in the arm. Investment in 5G will create new jobs at a time of very high unemployment, as well as improving public services.
According to the Vodafone report, the UK could see a £38 billion boost to its output over the next five years off the back of moving from 4G to 5G. Another five years could see 5G affecting a further £120 billion boost to the country’s output. That’s more than £150 billion added to the economy in ten years.
Low down for each country
The report goes on to break this startling figure down along regional lines. The North West, for example, will receive an £11.6 billion 5G-fuelled boost between 2026 and 2030. For Scotland, the same period will yield a £9 billion directly as a result of moving from 4G network connectivity to next generation 5G.
London will see the largest expected boost during this time, with a little shy of £29 billion being added to its output. But perhaps more notable is the South West of England, which could see just shy of £18 billion added to its output through 5G investment.
5G offers speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G, as well as a huge boost to network capacity and significantly lower latency. The latter element manifests in the time it takes to tap a button and gain a response from online apps and web content, which is arguably the biggest noticeable differentiator between the current 4G experience and Wi-Fi for the average smartphone user. Such differences evaporate under a 5G network.
5G connectivity required by 2025 say Vodafone
The UK government intends to reach the majority of the country with 5G connectivity by 2027, but Vodafone feels it should be aiming to cut this by two years. In comments accompanying the publishing of his company’s report, Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery speaks of “a turbocharging of the Government’s stated ‘levelling up’ agenda,” and claims that 5G should be at the heart of this.
His vision for the UK includes ‘Digital super towns’ that will use 5G connectivity to power tech start-ups focused on AI, virtual reality, robotics and other cutting-edge technologies.
Jeffery also makes reference to the company’s partnership with Ford, which has seen the two companies build a futuristic electric vehicle factory in Essex, with 5G as its backbone.
It’s not just big business and manufacturing that will benefit from the shift to 5G, either. According to Jeffery, having faster and more reliable mobile networks will boost the standard of living in the UK.
“If we can bring 5G to the majority of the UK population by 2025,” concludes Jeffries, “then we will be going a long way to creating the conditions needed to rebuild the economy and the nation.”