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Vodafone UK Highlights Potential Losses for NHS if 5G Rollout Slows

2023-09-18 12:13:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Vodafone UK noted that 5G networks will enable more patient care to be delivered remotely

The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) could lose up to £1 billion ($1.24 billion) a year if 5G is not rolled out quickly across the country, according to a new research commissioned by local carrier Vodafone.

Vodafone also noted that local councils also stand to miss out on significant savings, with 5G-enabled technologies having the potential to reduce social care spending by 5%.

The findings, calculated by WPI Economics, come as projections show that the aging population will put an increasing strain on the NHS and social services in the years to come, with £79 billion of public spending required to meet these needs, Vodafone said, adding that the rapid implementation of 5G-enabled technologies will be essential in addressing these challenges.

The U.K. carrier also noted that 5G networks will enable more patient care to be delivered remotely. For patients at home, 5G will enable high-quality and high-speed video connections, enabling doctors to deliver quality care quickly and efficiently, the carrier added.

Trials have shown that these innovative measures could save £296,000 per 100 users each year, equivalent to nearly £1bn based on the current number of users of public social care services. With this number set to increase by 61% by 2038, the rollout of 5G could save up to £17.5bn over the same period, according to the research. However, Vodafone highlighted that these potential savings will not materialize unless nationwide 5G is rolled out quickly.

“5G will support breakthroughs like at-home health scanning, personal devices and real-time access to medical expertise – innovations that will drive better health outcomes. To fully capture this potential, we need to rapidly build nationwide 5G coverage. Our proposed merger with Three UK will give us the scale to accelerate investment in digital infrastructure, allowing everyone to see the benefits of the 5G rollout faster,” said Ahmed Essam, CEO of Vodafone U.K.

Essam had previously said that Vodafone and Three could potentially reduce investments in the 5G field if local regulators block the proposed merger between the two telcos.

Essam indirectly warned regulators that a decision to block the attempted merger of Vodafone and Three UK would result in them cutting their investment in digital infrastructure and being unable to deliver on the U.K. Government’s goals in the 5G field.

The merger is subject to approval from the Competition and Markets Authority, which is currently looking deeperthe proposed transaction.

Vodafone Group and CK Hutchison Group Telecom Holdings recently enteredbinding agreements in relation to a combination of their telecommunication businesses in the U.K. Under the terms of the deal, Vodafone will own 51% of the new entity while Hutchison Group will own 49%.

If the transaction is approved, the new entity will reach 99% of the U.K. population with 5G Standalone (SA) networks.