Is the U.K. Information Superhighway Lagging Behind the Rest of the World?

5G is the future—but the United Kingdom still has a long way to go to become a truly smart country.
By Marcus Turner Jones

If we then look at how this affects the Internet of Things, we can see there is quite a distinct relationship. In areas where Internet connectivity speeds are high and coverage is plentiful, many households have taken advantage of the IoT. Households have smart energy meters and smart televisions, and others have motion-sensing cameras that deliver images to their smartphones, for example. In the more rural areas, this technology is far less frequent as a reliable Internet connection is required in order for the technology to work.

Which Businesses Benefit from Faster Internet Connections?
All businesses can benefit from superfast Internet connections, but it is especially critical for the financial trading markets. Small variances in Internet speed can make an enormous difference when trading online, which is why it isn't unusual for online traders to set up a business as close as possible to an exchange. Superfast Internet allows traders like ETX Capital, who use platforms such as Metatrader 4, to exploit price differences when information is transmitted over the Internet. A few milliseconds of advantage can represent billions of dollars in profit for large traders.

Other businesses, such as fleet-management companies, will also be among those that benefit from faster Internet connections. Being able to track where your vehicles are on the roads and deliver real-time updates to customers is something that could greatly improve this industry. It is possible now in some locations, but when drivers have to make trips to rural areas, the Internet is not reliable enough to sustain the service.

5G Is the Future of Superfast Internet
5G is the future. Right now, most people have 3G and, if they are lucky, 4G, but whereas you might experience 300 Mbs in the United Kingdom if you have access to a great 4G connection, with 5G, we are looking at speeds of 7.5 Gbs to 10 Gbs. Tech giants are working hard to push the technology forward, but the U.K. hasn't got the necessary infrastructure in place to ensure nationwide coverage.

Still, one thing is certain: 5G is not so far away, so for anyone working in an industry such as finance, for which Internet speed is critical to success, and for those hoping to invest further in IoT technology, these are exciting times. To become a truly smart country, though, the United Kingdom still has quite a way to go.

Marcus Turner Jones graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Sheffield before pursuing a career as a market analyst in London. Marcus writes freelance from Buenos Aires with his dog, Luna. He has a keen eye for how the markets influence day-to-day business and enjoys deliberating on these subjects.

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