Last week saw the UK pass its latest milestone in the rollout of 5G, with the latest auction of spectrum in the 700-megahertz and 3.6-3.8-gigahertz bands raising £1.3bn for the government, and helping mobile network operators to significantly boost their 5G provision in the coming months.
At the start of this year, the UK government made it clear just how seriously it is taking the opportunities presented by 5G technology.
Announcing an investment of £28 million to trial innovative new uses of 5G, Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said the technology “is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds, so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives.”
And small wonder. According to recent analysis by PwC, the UK could see a boost of £43 billion to gross domestic product by 2030 thanks to productivity and efficiency gains enabled by the rollout of 5G.
Which sounds fantastic – but what will this mean in practice for the UK’s consumers and businesses? How can they start benefiting from 5G technology? And how is this being communicated to them?
According to longstanding Diffusion client Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), users in cities and other priority areas are already seeing significant boosts to mobile data speeds thanks to progress being made in the UK’s 5G rollout. GWS’s national test used network scanner technology to show that 5G is now available across 37% of the markets driven, with average speeds boosted nearly five times in areas where 5G is available. (For more on this story, take a look at This is Money’s great write up).
And while it’s clear that this is already having a tangible positive impact on consumers and businesses, greater speeds are the just the start of the benefits we’ll start to realise this year as the 5G network expands across the UK – unlocking a vast range of opportunities and innovation within industries including manufacturing, education, healthcare, retail and entertainment.
For businesses it will also mean even greater mobility as 5G enables developers to create richer user experiences, including being able to integrate other technologies such as augmented and virtual reality into mobile apps more effectively.
From 5G connected trams in the West Midlands to 5G-connected immersive classrooms for kids in North Lanarkshire, this year will see more and more stories helping to paint the bigger picture, showcasing the huge opportunities that 5G offers British consumers and businesses.
We’re working with our clients to make sure their 5G stories cut through and contribute meaningfully to the bigger picture this year.