Press Release | 29 Jun 2020

5G could provide £150bn boost to UK economy over next 10 years

5G could provide £150bn boost to UK economy over next 10 years
  • A year on from the launch of its 5G network, a new report commissioned by Vodafone has found that upgrading the UK’s mobile infrastructure to 5G could be worth as much as £158billion to the economy over the next ten years.
  • 5G could provide a much-needed financial boost to the UK economy as it recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 5G could help change the way the public uses vital services after the coronavirus outbreak.

A new report published today and commissioned by Vodafone UK has found that upgrading to 5G could add as much as £158bn to the UK economy over the next decade, and could transform the way the public accesses vital services. Investment in 5G could lead to the creation of new jobs and business opportunities, as well as improve the provision of public services across the country.

The report comes as Vodafone marks one year since launching  its 5G network in the UK, and looks ahead to how the technology can impact the UK’s economy.

The report, ‘Levelling up: How 5G Can Boost Productivity across the UK’, authored by WPI Economics, highlights the significant economic impact 5G could bring to every region and nation of the UK. It also calls on the Government to ‘unleash the full potential of 5G’ by helping to create the right environment to make the UK a leader. This includes making digital central to the Government’s economic recovery plan and creating the policy, procurement and investment environment to support faster 5G rollout.

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO said: “5G will play a vital role as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. It is crucial to recognise the role that fast and reliable connectivity will play in unlocking the digital potential that exists in every nation and region across the UK. 5G will provide new and exciting opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes and across all sectors.”

Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister said: “We are determined to deliver the benefits of faster and secure 5G technology for homes and businesses across the UK.

“Our ongoing work to remove the barriers to industry rollout has meant 5G networks have already been switched on in more than 70 towns and cities.

“We are also investing £200m in 5G trials to speed up deployment and boost the development of new applications so we can seize the social and economic opportunities of this revolutionary technology.”

The report highlights key areas where 5G can support economic growth across the UK:

  • High quality digital infrastructure will enable people to continue to work remotely, helping to make towns and villages across the country more attractive places to live and work
  • 5G private networks will enable manufacturers to dramatically increase efficiency, helping to revive manufacturing across the UK
  • 5G will be essential to allowing secure and reliable remote access to public services, including patients accessing healthcare and pupils accessing education

In the five years to 2025, cumulative benefits to UK output stand at more than £38bn, and for the five years to 2030, they stand at more than £120bn. Across a 10-year time frame this means a boost to UK output of £158bn.

Vodafone’s 5G services are available in 44 locations across the UK and 70 locations across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.


About WPI Economics

WPI Economics is a specialist economics and public policy consultancy. We provide a range of public, private and charitable clients with research, modelling and advice to influence and deliver better outcomes through improved public policy design and delivery.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:


Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587