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5G technology could add £15.7b to UK economy – but only 17% of sector is preparing

03 April 2019 by
5G technology could add £15.7b to UK economy – but only 17% of sector is preparing

A nationwide upgrade to 5G technologies could add £15.7b of business revenue to the UK economy, impacting hospitality and leisure firms across the country - a report from Barclays Corporate Bank has stated.

The technology, offering significantly higher speeds of mobile internet that could allow an HD movie to be downloaded in 10 to 40 seconds, and a 1GB video to be uploaded to YouTube in under 15 seconds, has the potential to dramatically speed up business when it is rolled out in a process that is due to begin this year.

The report goes on to note the distribution of revenue growth will extend outside of the normal technology hubs as high-speed internet technologies empower business across the country. While London is likely to experience a £4.1b increase, and the south-east will see growth of £2.5b, the north west (£1.4b), east of England (£1.3b) and the south west (£1.1b) will also experience significant boosts.

However across the sectors questioned by Barclays Corporate Bank - which looked at 526 British businesses across a range of sectors, only 17% of hospitality and leisure firms said they had plans for 5G looking to the future. This was above the trend across all business - with only 15% considering the technology.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said: "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.

Sean Duffy, head of TMT at Barclays, added: "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.

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