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11th Jun 2016


5G to overtake fibre broadband within the next decade

Telefonica UK is certain that the economic impact of 5G will be strong enough to overtake fibre broadband by 2026.

The network giant studied the potential effects of 5G on the post-Brexit economy and one of the most interesting conclusions of Tech-onomy was: 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 thinks the combined value of 4G and 5G connectivity will add £18.5 billion to the economy, compared to £1bn less for traditional 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.

“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” Mark Evans, CEO, O2