O2: 5G can save homes and councils £6 billion per year

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The operator is looking to gain more support from local councils to build necessary groundwork for 5G

O2 claims UK citizens and local councils could save a total of £6 billion per year through productivity savings through the use of 5G.

This is according to a report carried out by Juniper Research on behalf of the operator unveiled today (March 14) by O2 CEO Mark Evans (third), COO Derek McManus (first) and minister for digital at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Margot James (second).

The report outlined how money can be saved in multiple sectors: health, transport, social care and utilities.

Households can save up to £450 per year on energy, council tax and food bill. Councils can regain £2.8 billion annually through smart lighting, smart refuse collection and improved social care.

Freeing up 5.5 per cent of GP appointments would eliminate 9.4 million physical visits, in turn free up 1.1 million hours, saving the economy £1.3 billion a year in staff time. Smart roads powered by 5G sensors can cut time spent in traffic by 10 per cent.

The report is a bid to gain support from local councils, to in turn gain easier access to properties, to build base stations and lay out the ground work for 5G.

O2 has long advocated for more collaboration between networks and government to rollout 5G more efficiently. The operator claimed in the past hurdles such as planning permission can see a base station take three years to construct, when in South Korea construction can begin after six weeks, according to McManus.

5G world leader

O2 chief executive Mark Evans said: “Of all the ingredients that keep our economy and society moving, arguably top of the list is mobile. Our report demonstrates how 5G technology, when it arrives, will provide unprecedented benefits for consumers, councils and cities alike. The enhanced connectivity on offer will make a real difference to people’s lives and pockets. However none of these benefits are assured. We need a high level of collaboration to press ahead with the rollout and to hardwire 5G into the fabric of our cities.”

James, presenting alongside Evans, added: “We want the UK to be a world leader in 5G, and this report highlights the huge potential we have to get ahead and reap the benefits of this exciting new technology.

“We’re already investing £25 million in new testbeds across the UK that will pave the way for our 5G future and our work with industry will be vital to help us achieve our ambitions.”

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