Will 5G Supercharge the Digital Economy?

We all know that 5G is coming. This network that provides faster download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections will change the use of smartphones today. However, it’s not just faster speeds and bigger downloads, this next stage of technological development will certainly impact and transform the way we live in the future too.

So, what exactly will 5G bring to the digital party?

The deployment of this new network will transform an individual’s day to day activity from start to finish such as getting to and from work, purchasing items online, booking hospital appointments and more.


Getting to and from work can be difficult, especially during peak times or traffic accidents that can add extra time onto your journey. Using vehicle-to-vehicle/vehicle-to-infrastructure communications on a 5G network will allow drivers to receive updates on real-time road collisions or forthcoming weather conditions to pre-plan alternative routes or prepare for road conditions ahead to reduce time on the roads. 5G will also enable automotive cars to become a reality, the high frequency and fast speeds will give the cars ability to communicate with each other and help the software to drive itself automatically. 

Connectivity on trains is also an issue for most of us, we’ve all experienced our phones cutting out mid-call or buffering problems whilst watching a video. As part of the 5G strategy, the Government has committed to improving coverage on trains. Each train could receive speeds of around 1 Gigabit Per Second (Gbps) which could allow several hundred passengers to stream uninterrupted video content at the same time and make and receive calls without disruptions.


Many individuals continue to buy items through high street store purchase, but also increasingly bought through mobile applications and online services more. By combining 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), this could reshape and tailor to individuals needs when entering a store or browsing online.

With the help of using IoT-embedded sensors over a 5G network, stores and online services can have a real-time view of stock updates, which can lead to faster responses and restocking times, ensuring customer satisfaction and increased store revenue.

With 5G, retail companies can help influence new, innovative technologies with more speed and reliability, gather more data, and ultimately help build a long-lasting relationship with customers.

There's still a lot of work to be done before the official roll out of 5G, but it is ultimately a game changer and will benefit many of us in ways we do not fully realise. For us to benefit from this, we must highlight the importance of digital technology and the opportunities that can arise from them to ensure the UK becomes a digital enabled economy.

By Sophie Weston, Programme Manager, Communications Infrastructure, techUK

Read more from our #Supercharging18 campaign week, click here.

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