5G has the potential to offer huge benefits to businesses and the UK economy, but the lack of standards and the fact the technology is still nascent means these are difficult to judge.
This is one of the findings of a new report compiled by Deloitte for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
The report found that the capabilities of 5G have the potential to provide transformative impacts for key sectors of the UK economy, but that attempts to quantify these impacts are both limited and varied.
Among the benefits 5G could help realise are improved connectivity – which will lead to higher productivity levels – and smart infrastructure and public services, as smart cities become more commonplace.
The report’s authors also pointed to 5G enabling new consumer devices and services, including healthcare wearables and connected vehicles. In addition, they said, 5G will also lead to new Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. This could take the form of more advanced asset tracking, remote control, predictive maintenance and sensor-enabled optimisation across business processes. This will likely lead to increased productivity.
However, the report found that the full scope of benefits was yet to be established. The authors said: “As definitive standards for 5G technology are established and commercial deployments begin to materialise, tangible use cases with quantifiable benefits will become clearer.
The availability of 5G technology, alongside associated technologies and devices, will allow for testing of use cases and proofs-of-concept on a much wider scale. Further clarity on deployment plans and business cases for specific uses will provide greater certainty and enable further research to estimate the potential impacts of 5G more accurately.”