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5G is here. Are you ready for take-off?

As the 5G era dawns, the future is exciting – and the possibilities virtually limitless.


With its combination of superfast speeds, ultra-low latency and vastly increased capacity, 5G will revolutionise how we live and work. As take-up grows, 5G will enable radically new services and revolutionise traditional models across virtually all industries. From remote real-time disease monitoring in healthcare to wireless, automated digital factories in manufacturing, 5G will help redefine the customer and employee experience and fuel the next wave of productivity improvement, In doing so, it will generate a powerful economic uplift for the UK – opening up unmissable opportunities to “build back better” after the pandemic and level up the national economy across the regions.

The extent to which 5G offers increased capabilities – and the pace at which they’ll be adopted – will depend on a wide range of factors. These will include 5G spectrum availability and the time taken to deploy 5G networks, implement 5G cell sites and develop 5G-enabled applications.

How will 5G affect the global and the UK economy and industries? Download our report on global economic impact of 5G and try out our data explorer tool to get up to speed on the quantifiable impact of 5G through 2030.

“5G will have a profound effect on the UK economy in the second half of the decade and can play an important role in building back the economy after the coronavirus pandemic. The technology has significant potential to improve productivity and create new customer and employee experiences in combination with other emerging technologies including AI, virtual and augmented reality and edge computing.”

Rolf MeakinPwC Global Telecommunications Consulting Leader

The UK economic impact of 5G

We estimate that 5G technology will add £43bn to the UK GDP by 2030. However, 5G, combined with other emerging technologies, will create a vast array of new experiences leading to a positive impact on society as a whole.

5G as an economic driver

As the rollout and adoption of 5G technology continue, innovative uses of advanced wireless connectivity will trigger an uplift in the country's overall GDP. How? Increased efficiencies and productivity will add value across sectors, as 5G offers the potential to rethink business models, skills, products and services. We estimate that 5G technology will add £43bn to the UK economy by 2030.

Supercharged healthcare systems

Predicted as the largest beneficiary of 5G, with the technology earmarked to improve efficiencies and productivity in hospitals by improving the utilisation of medical devices and patient beds, enhancing the functionality of telemedicine and enabling the application of AI to a range of sensor data for preventative care, remote diagnosis and more seamless patient handovers. This will contribute to better health outcomes, as 5G efficiencies add £15bn to the UK GDP by 2030.

A new era of smart utilities

Smart utilities management is on the rise—and 5G is on board to deliver value in the form of monitoring, tracking and automation. As utilities shift towards renewable energy and digitisation of the grid, 5G's ability to connect large numbers of devices and sensors will further transform the sector and contribute £9.4bn to the UK GDP by 2030.

Enhanced era of consumer and media applications

As the adoption of 5G enabled consumer devices increases, consumer retail and media companies will have the opportunity to use the technology to capture and enhance consumer interactions. From a retail perspective, this will mean more targeted and tailored marketing campaigns as well as the incorporation of augmented and virtual reality to boost shopping experiences. The findings show 5G will also offer a more immersive gaming experience for online entertainment as well as better and faster and more interactive access to online streaming content. Adoption of 5G with other technologies, will further boost the sector and the economy by contributing £9.4bn to the UK GDP by 2030.

Industrial manufacturing - building connected ecosystems

Digital technologies are increasingly pivotal to efficiency and effectiveness in production facilities and along supply chains. 5G will make it easier to customise products to meet specific requirements at higher quality, scale and speed, and at lower cost by paving the way to more adaptable and responsive production lines that can be reconfigured faster and with less effort.  Productivity gain from 5G applications in manufacturing is expected to add £6.1bn to the UK GDP by 2030.

Supporting the virtual interactions in the world of financial services

The pandemic has had profound knock-on effects on the financial services industry, including accelerating the migration to digital channels and interactions by both retail and institutional customers. 5G efficiencies, combined with the rapid digital shift creates opportunities for businesses to redesign their customer journey around increasingly meaningful virtual experiences - which will contribute to the wider UK GDP by adding £3.1bn to the UK GDP by 2030.

Reinventing the future with 5G

For companies seeking to kick-start growth, 5G offers a route to reinvent industries and open up opportunities. 5G strategies that include new product offerings, telecom collaborations, and combinations with emerging tech such as AI and IoT have the potential to repair and reconfigure enterprises for a post-pandemic future.

Learn more about Why it’s time to bring 5G centre-stage in industrial strategy.

Through our 5G Thought Leadership series we focus on how 5G will transform various industries, looking at the opportunities, challenges and potential next steps businesses should be thinking about.

Transforming manufacturing

For manufacturers across the world, the Fourth Industrial Revolution – 4IR – is here today. Now 5G offers the fast, seamless connectivity needed to unleash its full potential. Manufacturers that realise this opportunity will be the industry’s future winners. Discover how 5G connectivity and 4IR technologies will transform manufacturing.


A new era in healthcare

Healthcare providers face conflicting pressures to improve patient outcomes and relieve the strain on front-line practitioners. Smart use of 5G can help them reconcile and achieve both goals. Our vision for the digital healthcare ecosystem of 2030 shows how.


Contact: Iulia Avramescu


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Rolf Meakin

Rolf Meakin

Global Communications Consulting Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7801 247667

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