The retail sector stands to benefit most from the introduction of 5G across the UK, which stands to contribute £15.7 billion to the country’s economy by 2025.
According to Barclays latest report 5G: A Transformative Technology, which explores the potential for UK business when implementing 5G, the technology has the “potential to provide a much-needed boost to the UK”.
The report lays out three potential scenarios for the implementation of 5G, the first being an “optimistic” scenario in which its roll out will be accelerated, which will increase total business revenues by £15.7 billion in the next 6 years.
At the current pace of development, this number drops to £13 billion, while a slower than anticipated roll out is predicted to deliver added revenue of £8.3 billion.
Retail stands to receive the biggest boost from the technology’s introduction, providing enhanced in-store connectivity for shoppers and transforming their supply chains.
“Not only can the technology improve the instore customer experience, it is also set to transform warehouse management through the use of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and robots,” Barclays head of retail Ian Gilmartin said.
“In order for the UK retail sector to realise its full potential, the Government, mobile providers and partners such as financial institutions need to support businesses to make smart investments that enable 5G.”
Promisingly, this year is already seeing mobile providers introduce 5G capabilities introducing pilot schemes across the UK, while the government has pledged £1 billion towards digital infrastructure and placed 5G integration onto its Industrial Strategy.
Minister for digital and creative industries Margot James added: “The government is committed to ensuring businesses can harness the power of this revolution in mobile connectivity.
“The benefits set out in this report and the potential to add billions to our economy are exactly why we’re investing in the UK’s strong 5G ecosystem. Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re focussed on delivering real-world benefits from 5G in important sectors of the UK economy – providing new services, increasing productivity and improving quality of life.”