The Growing Effect of 5G Connectivity on British Businesses

By Damian Hanson, Co-Founder & Director of CircleLoop


Business leaders are urged to keep a close eye on 5G availability, as the UK gears up for the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Switch Off and will soon rely solely on the internet for phone calls. Yet, new analysis suggests some UK businesses may struggle with connectivity post-Switch Off as the 5G rollout has been so slow.

To safeguard your business from potential disruptions, it is important to understand the current state of 5G availability across the UK, the technology it supports and the opportunities this presents your business now and in the future. From faster speeds to greater flexibility, 5G is only just beginning its revolution of business operations, so why is it important to consider today?

What is the Big Switch Off and why is it happening?

The Big Switch Off marks the disconnection of PSTN in the UK. Having served as the traditional communication network since its inception in 1875, PSTN is considered outdated by BT Openreach.

The Switch-Off will have a profound impact on various devices reliant on copper PSTN wiring, including phone lines, fax machines, alarm systems, and door entry machines. To ensure functionality, every home and business in the UK will need to transition to a digital network, specifically one utilising Internet Protocol (IP), as traditional telephone lines will no longer be supported by UK networks starting in 2025.

Businesses now face critical decisions regarding their phone systems, necessitating the adoption of solutions that enable reliable communication with customers. With numerous options available, it is vital to explore the available solutions and understand how they can benefit your business now.

Damian Hanson

5G Availability Across the UK

The Switch-Off highlights a transformation in the telecoms landscape that will see businesses having to adapt their communication systems to the new digital era. In a recent study by Vodafone, the UK economy could benefit up to £5 billion a year with the adoption of best-in-class 5G networks.

The widespread adoption of 5G-enabled technologies is significantly influencing various aspects of society, concurrently supporting the government’s goals of fostering digital transformation and job creation. But is Britain ready?

To get a clear understanding of the readiness of Britain’s communication infrastructure, CircleLoop conducted an analysis looking at ‘5G Connectivity for Britain’s Businesses’ ranking major towns and cities based on their 5G availability from the country’s four major phone networks: EE, Three, Vodafone, and O2.

We found that only 51% of major UK towns and cities have full 5G coverage, showing that the rollout progress has been slow, leaving a large number of communities with limited or no 5G connectivity.

Connected 5G Regions

Our analysis offers valuable insights for businesses considering expansion or startups seeking optimal network support for their digital operations, highlighting the regions in Britain that excel in 5G connectivity.

London (scoring 96/100 for 5G connectivity), Yorkshire (86/100), and East Midlands (85/100) stand out as the leading regions, providing exceptional business 5G connectivity scores. These areas are well-equipped to deliver reliable and high-speed 5G services, presenting abundant opportunities for businesses to thrive in the digital age.

The situation is less favourable in certain regions, as Scotland (52/100), Wales (65/100), and South West (69/100) demonstrate lower 5G service levels in comparison. This disparity underscores the importance for businesses in these regions to carefully strategise their communication plans to remain competitive in the evolving landscape.

Why do businesses need to be connected to 5G?

For businesses to become future-proof, they must integrate 5G technology to ensure uninterrupted communication channels.  5G offers faster and more reliable connections for businesses to get in touch with their customers.

Following The Big Switch Off in 2025, cloud-based phone systems and internet tools utilising VoIP emerge as the best alternatives, making 5G highly advantageous for businesses embracing this transformative shift.

The potential of 5G to support enhanced communication solutions presents new opportunities for businesses to elevate their operations and enhance overall efficiency.

Here are a few core benefits of 5G for businesses:

  1. Competitive advantage: Embrace 5G early for improved connectivity, productivity, and security, giving your business an edge over competitors
  2. Faster speeds: Enhanced response times enable employees to stay connected and boost productivity in hybrid work environments
  3. Internet of Things (IoT) support: Harness the power of IoT devices to connect with customers, improve existing products or services, and deliver more data faster and securely
  4. Cost reduction: Enjoy lower network costs through 5G’s accessibility, flexibility, and scalability, eliminating transportation expenses and streamlining workflows
  5. New business opportunities: Seize innovative possibilities across industries, such as improved automation, data exchange, and omni-channel experiences, enabled by 5G

What to keep in mind

With the PSTN Switch-Off in 2025, businesses need to consider integrating 5G into their operational strategy. Although concerns about traditional telephone discontinuation are valid, embracing the availability of 5G presents promising solutions for the future that will enhance internal and external business communications significantly.

As leaders in cloud-based communications, we encourage businesses to closely monitor the ongoing 5G rollout and plan for its potential availability in your area. Taking this opportunity and positioning for long-term success will empower your businesses to digitally transform, enhance agility, and thrive in the years ahead.


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