Adoption of 5G technology to add £43bn to UK GDP by 2030- new PwC analysis shows

Feb 02, 2021

New analysis by PwC reveals that productivity and efficiency gains enabled by the roll out of 5G technology will drive business, skills and service change worth £43bn to UK GDP by 2030.

In the Powering Your Tomorrow global report, PwC quantifies for the first time, the economic impact of new uses of 5G in the utilities, health and social care, consumer, media and financial sectors.

Economic gains are projected across the sectors assessed in the UK, as it offers the potential to rethink business models, skills, products and services, with the gains accelerating from 2025 as 5G enabled applications and devices become more widespread.



Amount sector will add to UK GDP by 2030               



Consumer and Media                      


Smart Utilities




Financial services





Rolf Meakin, TMT partner at PwC, said: 

“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.

“Our report shows that all the sectors we looked at in the UK stand to benefit. The deployment of 5G infrastructure focussed on businesses and public sector employers should, therefore, be a high priority as an enabler of economic growth, competitiveness and regional levelling up.  In the medium term, the use of 5G networks and applications can also contribute to the achievement of sustainability targets through enabling more efficient networks as well as more flexible ways of working and use of resources.”

Sector impact

The UK’s healthcare sector has the highest potential to benefit from 5G technology according to the report, 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.

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.

For financial services providers, 5G will help to facilitate advances in security such as using facial recognition to verify customers when using ATMs and other devices - helping to reduce losses from fraud. In factories, 5G will make it easier to customise products to meet specific requirements at higher quality, scale and speed, and at lower costs - this will require investment in parallel in other types of operational technology. There is also a range of smart city applications including better traffic, public safety, transportation and waste management.

Wilson Chow, global leader, Technology, Media and Telecoms, and partner, PwC, said:

“5G is more than mobile connectivity. It puts a new lens on advancing productivity and rethinking entire business models for the future. Given the scale of potential and its impacts, every organisation will need a plan for 5G’s implementation within five years across technology and business strategies to maximise opportunities and prepare for how they integrate their technology and business strategies, and engage with customers, supply chain and regulators.”



Notes to editors

About the Powering Your Tomorrow report

The UK figures have been converted from dollars using the average rate of the pound on the basis of historical exchange rates (over 2019) and does not entail any forecasts of future exchange rates trends

PwC drew on expert insight and using economic modeling, to examine the impact of 5G’s use across five industries. The projections in this study represent the net economic impact of 5G technology, taking into account displacement effects such as some economic activities becoming obsolete, and focusing on economic value added across value chains and throughout the economy, rather than only the revenues of 5G telecoms businesses. Further details on the methodology can be found here

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Felix Ampofo

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