THE Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has published a new report outlining the ‘substantial’ benefits to Scotland of enhanced 4G and 5G capability.
The report, Scotland’s digital potential with enhanced 4G and 5G capability, states in just over 15 years, Scotland’s GDP could increase by £17 billion if the nation capitalises on the opportunities presented. Annual tax revenues could rise £5.7 billion as a result from 3,000 new businesses employing 160,000 more people, the report claims.
Non-stop connectivity delivered through 5G networks could also improve access to healthcare and education, and reduce energy consumption and costs.
The Deloitte report, commissioned by SFT, highlights that benefits from digitalisation will require ‘long-term commitments’ by policymakers and industry to address key challenges. The report has been published to coincide with Scottish Government’s 5G strategy.
Derek Graham, programme director of SFT’s digital infrastructure team said, “The Deloitte report highlights the substantial benefits that Scotland could realise by fully embracing the potential opportunities that improved digital connectivity and future 5G technologies can offer. Having access to seamless digital connectivity is therefore paramount to securing inward investment where extensive cross-sector collaboration will be required to facilitate the development, demonstration and commercialisation of key use cases to encourage the private sector to invest further in Scotland.
“We will therefore use our previous experience working with the Scottish Government to influence how we support further collaboration between local authorities, industry and academia to set the foundations for Scotland to be 5G ready.”
Paul Wheelhouse, minister for energy, connectivity and the Islands added, “I welcome this publication which, in setting out the economic case for investment in next generation mobile connectivity, provides strong support for the Scottish Government’s new 5G Strategy. We are taking forward a collaborative approach across the public and private sector to ensure that Scotland fully realises its potential as a forward-looking 5G nation.”
Sam Blackie, lead partner for the EMEA economic consulting practice at Deloitte commented, “5G technology has the potential to enhance connectivity and productivity across Scotland. In order to unlock the economic benefits 5G can bring, there are a number of challenges for businesses to address. These range from securing spectrum, ensuring fibre availability, and establishing the business case for 5G deployment and the improvements it can bring. At the same time, it’s important to note that while 5G is poised to deliver significant benefits to communities and businesses, there are still vast gains to be realised from improving existing 4G connectivity, particularly in rural areas.”