Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur has welcomed a plan that will put Scotland at the forefront of the 5G technological revolution.

5G is the next generation of mobile internet, offering faster speeds and enhanced connectivity that could transform transport, education, healthcare and agriculture among other sectors.

The plan, Forging our Digital Future with 5G, unveiled today (26.08.19) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to Glasgow University’s School of Engineering sets out how the Scottish Government will work with industry, the regulator and other public sector bodies to make sure all of Scotland – including rural areas – benefits from the technology.

5G could enable Scotland to add £17 billion to GDP by 2035, creating 160,000 jobs and increasing productivity by £1,600 a worker in just over 15 years.

Potential uses of 5G technology include:

  • using in-home sensors to monitor patient health, capturing real-time health data and reducing the need for recently discharged patients to return to hospital for check-ups
  • measuring blood glucose level non-invasively with results displayed on a smartphone
  • localised flood warning systems using 5G-connected sensors to measure river level changes, giving people in remote communities greater time to prepare
  • supporting Scotland’s low-carbon objectives with public bodies exploring smart lighting, smart heating and smart electric vehicle charging hubs
  • contributing to the long-term sustainability of Scotland’s rural economy. 5G technology could underpin a wealth of rural applications, such as salmon health monitoring, sustainable tourism, radio broadcasting and connected windfarms

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Arthur MSP said:

“The Scottish Government’s new 5G plan sets out aspirations to ensure Scotland is a 5G leader and a forward-looking digital nation.

“5G offers rich potential – opportunities to enhance Scotland’s global competitiveness, achieve economic growth and drive innovation across our public and private sectors.

“There are huge potential gains for the public sector if we embrace technologies such as 5G. We believe this will be a catalyst for further public sector transformation, enabling high quality, user-focused and efficient services that are driven by data.

“While the UK’s mobile network operators are already investing large sums in rolling out 5G, we must act collectively to ensure that Renfrewshire South and all of Scotland – including rural areas – benefit from this revolution.”

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