5G could boost the UK economy by up to £15.7bn each year by 2025, though this opportunity may never be seized due to a lack of knowledge within the industry about the benefits of the technology.
According to a report from Barclays Corporate Banking, this is an ‘optimistic’ estimate and one that may not to be achieved. However, at the current pace of 5G development, added revenue is still set to reach £13bn. Should that pace drop, we’re looking at £8.3bn being added to the UK economy.
Within the optimistic world, distribution (£3.6bn), manufacturing (£2bn), professional services (£1.1n), and business services (£1bn) would see the larges revenue increases. Meanwhile, London (£4.1bn), South East (£2.5bn), the North West (£1.4bn), East of England (£1.3bn), and South West (1.1bn) will be the regions which benefit the most.
58 per cent of businesses already benefit from fast communications technologies like 4G and ultrafast broadband, enabling them to operate across disparate locations (59 per cent), communicate with customers and potential customers (49 per cent), and connect multiple machines and devices (48 per cent).
The survey of 526 UK businesses also found that 39 per cent of business decision makers already know who their business can make the most of 5G, yet only 15 per cent are thinking about how to harness the technology.
Nonetheless, there are sectors which are already planning to invest heavily in 5G – namely TMT (35 per cent), logistics (34 per cent), business services (28 per cent), and manufacturing (24 per cent). And 40 per cent of business decision makers expect 5Gto increase their revenue over the next five years.
“The rollout of 5G offers a huge opportunity for the UK. We’re seeing massive potential for business growth, which ultimately delivers a positive knock-on effect for the whole economy. While the Government and network providers are already working hard to introduce 5G in the UK, we found that businesses do not yet have enough clarity about how they will benefit in the long-run. What’s more, nearly four in ten business leaders still aren’t entirely sure what 5G is,” said Sean Duffy, head of TMT at Barclays.
“To ensure the UK can realise the full potential of an accelerated rollout, the Government, mobile operators and other corporate partners – including financial institutions – have a job to do in order to raise awareness amongst businesses so they can harness 5G. This support is crucial for businesses to make smart investments which will unlock the power of 5G.”