O2: Investment in 5G Mobile Networks
Development Economics recently prepared an assessment for telecoms services provider O2 that estimated the potential economic impact of investment in 5G mobile networks across the UK.
As well as providing new means of communication and opening up new modes of media and entertainment, 5G mobile communications will also transform the way we work, facilitating widespread use of 3D video, and virtual & augmented reality tools and processes.
5G will also transform the way we access vital public services such as education, public transport, healthcare and adult social care.
Taking health care as an example, the potential applications in health are vast. In future, patients could receive health advice from leading national or international specialists delivered through video via their local GP surgery or hospital. Health and adult social care applications will also be enabled by the Internet of Things by providing a platform to connect a massive number of devices to the Internet. This will enable remote monitoring of health and patient progress via connected sensors, such as devices to monitor blood pressure or insulin levels.
Development Economics estimates that 5G technology – expected to be introduced by 2020 – has the potential to boost the UK’s economy by an additional £9 billion per annum (in real terms, i.e. excluding the effects of inflation) once a full national network is in place. Such a network would also be expected to boost significantly the UK’s lagging productivity performance by creating the potential for new business models across every business and public service sector.