A report commissioned by Vodafone UK found more than half of UK adults surveyed believe 5G has more potential to improve society compared to AI, with healthcare touted as a sector to benefit most from the network technology.

In a statement announcing the findings of a new economic modelling, conducted by research company WPI Economics, Vodafone stated 53 per cent of respondents from a pool of 2,000 people claim 5G can improve their day-to-day life, more so than AI or other innovative technologies like drones.

The findings were released after Vodafone UK and 3 UK made a commitment to spend £11 billion on improving 5G connectivity over the next decade and deliver one of Europe’s “most advanced” standalone networks as part of a proposed merger.

According to the economic modelling, which drew on a range of studies, consumers experienced a direct impact from deployments of 5G connectivity in public sectors, as online bookings for medical appointments and contactless payments in transportation systems have become the new normal.

Findings also revealed citizens are bullish on 5G’s potential to optimise healthcare services, citing waiting lists for medical appointments as a focus area for improvements.

The shift to remote check-ups and patient monitoring will also reduce the need for physical appointments, potentially resulting in £1 billion of NHS savings a year, the report found.

Additionally, the utilities sector and railway infrastructure were named by respondents as areas that can benefit from advanced 5G connectivity.

Ahmed Essam, Vodafone UK CEO, said the merger with 3 UK “will give us the scale to accelerate investment” in the country’s digital future. He further touted the company’s recent launch of 5G Ultra.

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