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5G-enabled ‘super smartgrids’ could shave energy bills, O2 says

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The widespread adoption of 5G telecommunications networks could enable “super smartgrids” in the UK that help save customers as much as £145 each year, O2 has said.

O2 has published a new report dubbed The value of 5G for cities and communities’ which examines the various ways in which more prevalent 5G networks could benefit consumers and the areas in which they live.

The report reserves a particular section for energy, centred almost exclusively on the adoption of what it terms “super smart energy grids”. 5G connectivity will, according to O2, help smart grids become more robust, more responsive and have greater capacity to deal with spikes in demand.

In particular O2 has raised the prospect of low-power and low-cost 5G sensors being fitted across electricity grids to help detect and respond to demand spikes more effectively, while also enabling more comprehensive sharing of energy-based data to help make energy pricing more dynamic.

In total, O2 estimates that 5G could shave as much as £145 off average domestic household energy bills as part of a wider £6 billion economic benefit for the UK.

Mark Evans, chief executive at O2 parent company Telefonica, said of 5G that the “ubiquitous connectivity will help make energy grids more resilient”.

5G, the next technological shift in telecommunications, promises connectivity that is up to 40 times more responsive, 10 times faster and around 20% more power efficient than the current 4G network.

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