The Scottish Government says 5G technology is critical to Scotland’s prosperity over the next decade as we recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.
The research, commissioned by Vodafone and authored by Matthew Oakley, a former Treasury economist, shows the importance that faster and more reliable networks could bring to consumers and businesses:
In the five years to 2025, cumulative benefits to Scotland’s output stand at £2.9 billion, and for the five years to 2030, they stand at £9.3 billion
Across a ten-year timeframe this means a boost to Scottish output worth £12.2 billion
The research highlights how the 5G revolution – with speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G and the ability to handle significantly increased data usage – could help transform businesses across a range of sectors. Manufacturers, for example, could create smarter production lines increasing speed and reducing costs, while retailers could create digitally fitted dressing rooms in high street shops that allow customers to contact staff directly by scanning a tag on an item of clothing to request a different size or colour.
Paul Coffey, CEO of The Scotland 5G Centre, said: “The findings in Vodafone’s report very much align with the many economic and societal benefits we believe 5G can bring to communities across Scotland. Through the creation of new companies and products, along with better access to job opportunities and public services, 5G will be very different to what has come before and will have a transformational impact. To become a global leader, Scotland has to be at the vanguard of infrastructure deployment and development, as well as the trial of new use cases.
“To support that aim, we are planning to create a network of digital hubs across the country. These will provide a platform that enables innovation, leading to new products, processes, and adoption of these services at scale. The innovation enabled by 5G will be critical in the months and years ahead as we look to aid economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, with Scotland offering the ideal place to develop applications and showcase what is possible anywhere in the world.”
Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO said: “5G will play a vital role as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is crucial to recognise the role that fast and reliable connectivity will play in unlocking the digital potential that exists in every region across the country. 5G will provide new and exciting opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes and across all sectors.”