A new Barclays Corporate Banking report published today reveals that 5G could increase UK business revenues by a staggering £15.7 billion by 2025, despite industry leaders admitting they do not know enough about the benefits of the technology.
The report, ‘5G: A Transformative Technology’ puts forward ‘optimistic scenarios’, or use cases, for the new technology and anticipates a rapid uptake by UK businesses and customers alike, resulting in billions of pounds in profit.
These predicted scenarios reveal a potential £4.1 billion in increased revenue for London, £2.5 billion for the South East, £1.4 billion in the North West, £1.3 billion in the East and £1.1 billion in South West. Scotland follows close behind the South West also at £1.1 billion.
The distribution industry will benefit the most with an increase in revenue of £3.6 billion. Manufacturing revenue is also expected to increase by £2 billion, professional services by £1.1 billion and business services, £1 billion, showcasing the range of industries 5G could transform.
While mobile providers are slowly introducing 5G, the UK Government has also backed the technology by incorporating it within its Industrial Strategy - a £1 billion pledge towards digital infrastructure.
Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries states: “The Government is committed to ensuring businesses can harness the power of this revolution in mobile connectivity. The benefits set out in this report and the potential to add billions to our economy are exactly why we're investing in the UK’s strong 5G ecosystem.
“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re focussed on delivering real-world benefits from 5G in important sectors of the UK economy - providing new services, increasing productivity and improving quality of life.”
Barclays research also revealed that 58% of businesses are already reaping the rewards of 4G because it allows better operation and communication with customers across different locations, and the ability to connect multiple devices.
5G has the potential for enhancing these processes with peak data rates that are 20 times faster than 4G, paving the way for further innovation in artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and even self-driving cars.
However, despite this demand and increased interest in 5G, Barclays found that just 39% of industry leaders are aware of how the technology could benefit them. Alongside this, only 15% are thinking about how they could use 5G, suggesting that a vast number of businesses are not prepared for this revolution.
Sean Duffy, head of TMT at Barclays, says: “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.“
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.”