Is 5G worth the upgrade for UK businesses?
- 5G technology can impact the UK’s manufacturing industry and play a significant role in realizing Government’s leveling up ambitions
- 5G is expected to capture up to US$1.5 trillion worldwide by 2030, representing approximately 40% of overall ICT revenues
- The UK has a strong network of 5G testbeds offering businesses the opportunity to trial 5G use cases and decipher the route for its adoption at scale
The United Kingdom (UK) is on the cusp of a new technological revolution, with the deployment of 5G networks across six major cities. According to Cisco, 5G is expected to capture up to US$1.5 trillion worldwide by 2030, representing approximately 40% of overall ICT revenues.
The fifth generation of mobile network telecommunications has been touted as an incredible opportunity for businesses to capitalize through increased connectivity, reliability, and availability. But is it worth the upgrade?
Is 5G faster than 4G?
5G is here, and the hype is real. The next generation of wireless technology promises connection speeds up to 100x faster than 4G LTE. The first 5G launches took place in the UK in June and July 2019.
For businesses, this means a massive increase in download speed for apps, streaming video, and data-heavy applications like virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). More importantly, 5G will bring ultra-low latency for new business models and simultaneously allow real-time communication among many connected devices.
Ookla, the global leader in internet testing, data, and analysis, recently conducted tests on 5G networks in London and found a solid improvement over 4G on Android devices in the UK. The Speedtest Intelligence® data found that consumers upgrading from one of the most popular 4G devices in the United Kingdom to one of the most popular 5G-capable devices would have seen a two-to-three-times increase in median download speed during Q3 2021.
5G taking full flight in all of UK industries
The potential of 5G is enormous. The next generation of mobile connectivity will be a key enabler and driver for change in many sectors, including health, automotive, manufacturing, and energy management.
The dynamic manufacturing environment is constantly evolving and innovating to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and remain competitive in the global marketplace. Throughout the years, manufacturers have been striving to provide their customers with high-quality, on-time products at the lowest possible cost.
The 5G technology can impact the UK’s manufacturing industry and play a significant role in realizing Government’s leveling up ambitions. According to Powering up manufacturing, leveling up Britain report, 5G can also offer a potential of US$8.56 billion (£6.3 billion) boosts to UK manufacturing by 2030.
5G technology will allow higher flexibility, lower cost, and shorter lead times for factory floor reconfiguration, layout changes, and alterations. In addition, the key 5G-supported applications driving the transformation are AR and VR technology.
5G making supply chains and industrial ecosystems more efficient and resilient
5G can make supply chains and industrial ecosystems more efficient and resilient with capacity, energy efficiency, and speed. The new technology will enable industries to react faster to changes in demand, supply, or market conditions.
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This is especially true in the automotive sector, where 5G will bring several new opportunities. In particular, this technology will improve safety and comfort for drivers and passengers and reduce traffic congestion by making road management more efficient.
It also offers vast potential for e-mobility services and electric charging infrastructure for private homes and public spaces like roadsides or car parks.
A strong network of 5G testbeds in the UK
In addition, the UK has a strong network of 5G testbeds offering businesses the opportunity to trial 5G use cases and decipher the route for its adoption at scale. The Industrial 5G Testbed and Trials program, funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport is helping businesses explore 26 different use cases for 5G, accelerating adoption in targeted sectors.