A new report has claimed that the rollout of 5G will save British households £450 a year on energy, council tax, and food bills.
The report by O2 and supported by digital minister Margot James warns that the UK may miss out on productivity savings of £6bn a year if British cities are not upgraded.
Speaking in London today, O2’s chief executive Mark Evans said: “Of all the ingredients that keep our economy and society moving, arguably top of the list is mobile.”
He added that while 5G would provide “unprecedented benefits for consumers”, a “high level of collaboration” was needed to “press ahead with the rollout and to hardwire 5G into the fabric of our cities”.
The comments come ahead of an Ofcom auction for bands of the 4G and 5G mobile radio spectrum next week, which will give particular carriers the exclusive right to communicate over those frequencies.
According to the report, houses will save money through 5G-enabled smart grids that allow consumers to choose where they buy energy, and by reducing council tax and food waste.
Local councils could collectively save £2.8bn through efficiency savings, particularly in reduction to social care costs facilitated by 5G telehealth and monitoring technologies.
The NHS also stands to reduce GP visits by 9.4 million by replacing 5% of appointments with telehealth video conferences, as well as the adoption of wearable monitoring devices.
Ms James added: “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.”