Vodafone UK warned more needed to be done to ensure the country did not miss out on the full economic benefits of 5G, forecasting in a report the right level of investment could be worth up to £7 billion a year by 2030.
The Vodafone Digital Ambition 2030 report was authored by consultancy WPI Strategy and the analysis was based on independent research.
Among the major headlines, the research predicted towns and smaller cities would miss out the most on the value of 5G in the current regulatory and policy environment by not making the UK a “great place” to invest in new technology.
Vodafone noted that in the 4G era the biggest cities experienced the fastest rollout and are now well-positioned to attract investment in 5G. But “smaller cities and medium-sized towns are at risk of missing out if the changes aren’t made quickly”.
In total, Vodafone’s report highlighted 58 local authority areas which would see a high benefit from a good investment for 5G.
To create a pro-investment environment, Vodafone recommended a range of measures including calling on the government to publish an updated 5G strategy with specific aims for network rollout.
It also said the government needed to use its procuring power to create market demand in 5G-related services, such as installing smart energy management systems in public buildings.
There were further recommendations around planning rules, net neutrality regulations, a shake-up in approach to spectrum fees and business rates.
Ahmed Essam, Vodafone UK CEO, highlighted 5G’s potential in enabling massive innovation and huge gains in productivity for industrial use cases and public services, but cautioned the benefits “will not be felt equally across the UK in the current regulatory and policy environment”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back