5G wireless home broadband will provide households in the UK with a cheaper and more flexible alternative to fibre connections, offering customers double the current Internet download speed. This is according to a report by Ovum Research, commissioned by Three UK on 20 November 2018.
According to the report, the technology also known as 5G ‘fixed wireless access’ (FWA), is almost 50% cheaper to deploy than fibre, and much quicker to implement, providing a viable alternative for home broadband services.
The technology is expected to deliver speed up to 80 to 100 Mbps, which is approximately double what customers in the UK currently obtain using traditional fixed broadband services which provide 46 Mbps speed on average.
The report further highlights the benefits that the UK stands to gain in terms of the availability and affordability of 5G technology due to economies of scale. This is because of the widespread adoption of wireless broadband globally and the fact that 5G-FWA developments are helping connect 50% of the world's households that are currently not connected to the Internet.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.