The value of 5G for cities and communities
FREE White paper from O2 and Mark Evans, CEO of Telefonica UK
Every household will be £450 better off a year – £145 will be shaved off their energy bills through super-smart grids and their council bills will be £66 cheaper thanks to connected refuse collection and smart fridge ‘shelfies’ will allow them to cut food waste by £236 a year.
In addition, an extra 1.3 million electric cars will be brought onto the roads as a result of 5G-proofed energy grids that can withstand mass electric car charging, saving each owner £1,600 in annual fuel costs. Local authorities will collectively share an annual £2.8 billion of efficiency savings, from reduced social care costs for the elderly through 5G monitoring, to savings through smarter street lighting. Waiting times for GP appointments can fall, as 1.1 million hours of GP time is freed up through telehealth, improving productivity through less workplace absence. All contributing to a total of £6 billion in productivity savings (time and cost) for cities.
The worrying thing is none of these benefits are assured. 5G works a bit like a patchwork quilt. It needs a high level of collaboration to hardwire the technology into our cities’ infrastructure. The danger is we treat it as an afterthought, when in fact it needs to be planned in now. We need a world where connectivity is as prized as an energy performance certificate by home buyers and sellers. Where connectivity is checked off by building regulations. Where digital infrastructure has equal billing with physical. Britain was a pioneer of mobile technology, but without an urgent remedy we risk squandering the benefits and losing the digital leadership we have worked so hard to establish. To realise the benefits of 5G-enabled smart cities we must work together to design and build in the technology now.
Read the free whitepaper: The value of 5G for cities and communities