UK cities could benefit from up to £6 billion of savings from 5G implementation, according to report from O2

The value of 5G for cities and communities, O2 report - Office Phone Shop

O2 predicts significant benefits from 5G.

The ‘Value of 5G for Cities and Communities’ report from O2, predicts savings of up to £450 a year for the average household. The implementation of 5G could lead to savings in energy bills, council tax bills, and a reduction in food waste. Local councils, the report predicts, could also be better off to the tune of up to £2.8 billion. Whilst an expected £890 million reduction could be seen in social care costs for those living alone, such as the elderly, due to the effectiveness of 5G telehealth and monitoring.

The report also claims the introduction of smart refuse collection could save up to £1.8 billion a year. Transport infrastructure in cities could also benefit by having 5G sensors on railway lines, which would see an estimated £440 million reclaimed in lost productivity for the UK economy. It could also cut down travel times of commuters by up to 2.6 hours a year.

Derek McManus, O2’s Chief Operating Officer said: “There are more mobile connections in Britain than there are people and the demand for mobile frequency and easier access is only increasing. It’s clear from our report that 5G technology will play a vital role in ensuring that all citizens get the mobile service they deserve. “But while 5G promises a range of unprecedented benefits, we should be clear that these won’t be achieved without collective investment and collaboration. That means complete alignment from operators, public service providers, local authorities, landlords and technology companies to explore new opportunities for better connectivity and denser coverage.”

Mark Evans, CEO of Telefonica UK added:

“Of all the ingredients that keep our economy and society moving, arguably top of the list is mobile. Our report demonstrates how 5G technology, when it arrives, will provide unprecedented benefits for consumers, councils and cities alike. The enhanced connectivity on offer will make a real difference to people’s lives and pockets. “However none of these benefits are assured. We need a high level of collaboration to press ahead with the rollout and to hardwire 5G into the fabric of our cities.”

The UK government announced funding last year for a number of projects as part of its Digital Strategy. These include £4.3m for a rural coverage and dynamic spectrum testbed, led by Cisco; £5m for a smart tourism project in Bath and Bristol; and £4.1m for a connected and autonomous vehicles project, led by Airspan.

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

“We want the UK to be a world leader in 5G, and this report highlights the huge potential we have to get ahead and reap the benefits of this exciting new technology. “We’re already investing £25 million in new testbeds across the UK that will pave the way for our 5G future and our work with industry will be vital to help us achieve our ambitions.”

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