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Smart Production

Key to the success of the UK’s economic recovery will be the upgrading of its industrial base. That means bringing manufacturing into the digital era, accelerating the digital transformation of SMEs, and securing global leadership in the cutting-edge technologies of tomorrow. As the UK develops its industrial strategy for the next decade, it should ensure that it reflects the fundamental role of 5G in bringing about this transformation.

5G and the fourth industrial revolution

We are beginning to witness the emergence of what has been termed the “fourth industrial revolution”: the fusion of the digital and physical through automation and the large-scale integration of industrial processes into the cloud. 5G’s superior speed, reliability and security will accelerate this revolution. The deployment of 5G high capacity networks - including private networks and network slicing - will enable the creation of smart factories in which the seamless integration of machinery and devices into an interconnected internet of things (IoT) unlocks immense efficiencies in industrial production.

Case study - Worcester Bosch launches the UK’s first 5G factory

5G’s promise transcends the digitisation of existing industrial applications and processes. It is an open innovation

platform that will allow developers and businesses to conduct the tests, pilots and experiments whose findings will shape the industries of the future. Transformative technologies such as AI, blockchain and edge computing will all depend on 5G to thrive and contribute to the UK’s future economic success.

Economic costs and benefits of full 5G rollout in the UK

Economic costs and benefits of full 5G rollout in the UK (Source: Analysys Mason)

Analysys Mason estimates that 5G will generate £4.6 billion in net economic benefits by enabling greater “smart production”. The study estimates the costs of deploying the additional 5G infrastructure needed to enable these new use cases, including smart factories, and compares this to the expected economic benefits.