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November 22, 2016updated 13 Jan 2017 11:59am

Video streaming, cars, smart cities: will £1.1bn be enough to grow the UK digital economy?

Autumn Statement promises £1.1 billion 5G and fibre splurge: but how will high-speed broadband be used?

By Alexander Sword

UK Chancellor Philip Hammond gears up to splurge over £1.1 billion on fibre broadband and 5G technologies.

£400 million called the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund to be given to fibre broadband providers to expand networks.

£740 million committed to developing 5G and on rolling out fibre.

Where can we expect the to see the greatest impact?

5G could help generate €113.1 billion a year Europe wide by 2025 said a European Commission-supported study with trickle-down impact of €141 billion.

As infrastructure investments go, the networks themselves will be pretty much invisible so where will business and the public see the benefits:

1. Video streaming

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Video streaming is not a new technology, but it will soon take centre stage in internet usage. According to Cisco, global IP video traffic will grow threefold from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent while internet video traffic will grow fourfold in the same period.

video streamingCurrently use of video is often limited by available internet speeds in the case of home broadband connections and by data constraints when using cellular.

The faster and higher capacity networks will sate the growing appetite for high quality video streaming services, especially as more and more video content moves online through services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix.


2. Connected cars

Network companies and automakers are already working on the connectivity solutions that will power connected and driverless cars.

For example, in the UK, Vodafone has been testing vehicle-to-vehicle communications using the LTE-V2X protocol.

smart carStakeholders in both the telecoms and automotive industry have been collaborating to determine standards and solutions for 5G use in road vehicles. The 5G Automotive Association, for example, formed recently, will include Audi, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm.

In fact, the EU study found that the automotive industry would be the biggest beneficiary of 5G, with strategic benefits of €13.8 billion.

Next Smart Cities, Healthcare and Supply chain

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