Mark Stanfield, Chair at WM5G has authored a thought leadership piece for Digital Leaders, assessing 5G’s role in the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Covid-19 has impacted businesses across all industry sectors, with the West Midlands’ regional economy shrinking by 9% in 2020. The financial recovery to pre-pandemic levels is expected to be slow, especially while lingering market uncertainty remains.

The fifth generation of mobile data has moved out of its infancy and established itself as a force capable of drastically improving our everyday lives, enabling ‘real time’ connectivity, and creating opportunities for more sophisticated and productive ways of working. 

5G is far more than mobile connectivity; it will both improve the use of existing technology and has the potential to innovative services and establish new use cases across industries including e-health, transport, and manufacturing. 5G enables the instantaneous transfer of data and information whilst allowing thousands of devices to be simultaneously connected, creating vast transformative potential, to business and the economy.

PwC predicts that the adoption of 5G technology will increase the productivity and efficiency of those businesses, adding an estimated £43 billion to UK GDP by 2030. This figure highlights the potential of 5G to rethink business models, skills, products, and services and will play a significant role in rebuilding the economy following the detrimental impact of Covid-19.

West Midlands 5G’s (WM5G) mission as the UK’s first region wide 5G testbed has been to work in partnership with the public and private sectors to deliver projects promoting and accelerating the benefits of 5G throughout the region. To date we have supported businesses across industries such as manufacturing, transport, and healthcare to become more agile and competitive within the market, which will ultimately help them reach their potential and support UK job creation and GDP.

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