A new report from Vodafone has found that the UK manufacturing sector could be boosted by £6.3 billion by 2030 if it adopts 5G. While the sector would benefit across the country, Vodafone believes this boost would be most pronounced in the North West, North East, the Midlands, and Wales.
The ways in which 5G could boost manufacturing vary. 5G mobile private networks (MPNs), for example, would be able to share lots of data from connected devices around factories in real-time allowing for better decisions to be made so productivity can be maximised. 5G also allows for predictive maintenance so that businesses know when and where repairs will be needed allowing for downtime to be avoided. Finally, 5G will enable Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies that can be used to design and view plans before construction takes place, this will help save time and money.
Commenting on the report, Anne Sheehan, Business Director at Vodafone, said:
“We are only beginning the 5G journey, but through our work with Ford, we know it offers huge potential for the manufacturing sector and beyond.
"To realise this potential, we need to all get behind it, from Government and Ofcom creating the right policy and regulatory environment, through to businesses embracing the power of innovation, and, of course, us as network operators creating this network of the future.”
Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman confirmed that the government is committed to helping the manufacturing industry introduce 5G into their operations, point to a £200 million 5G trials scheme.