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March 7, 2017

What the UK needs to do to be a leader in 5G

techUK believe that Telco's and the Govt must work together to ensure the success of 5G

By Joe Clark

techUK has stated that it’s imperative for the mobility sector and the government to cooperate in order to make the UK a leader in 5G technology.

The new report 5G: New Services, New Customers, New Challenges says that new emerging technologies will require lower latency and faster speeds. If the UK is to remain a competitive player, an advanced and cooperative 5G infrastructure will be necessary.

5G is expected to be public by 2020 and new and more advanced technologies will begin to see rapid adoption or will have already been largely adopted. The IoT is currently experiencing rapid growth and Gartner estimates that by 2020 there will be 20 billion devices connected. Increased data speeds will be necessary to ensure quality and efficiency is maintained.

Similarly, autonomous connected cars are expected to start emerging on roads by 2021, not only will these vehicles need fast data speeds to operate properly, high latency issues could have a drastic effect on their safety procedures.


Julian David, CEO of techUK, said: “techUK strongly supports the UK Government’s focus on 5G, and the considerable effort Ofcom has put into identifying suitable spectrum which could be made available quickly, but to become a 5G leader, the UK needs to do even more. Specifically, we need to see a much more coordinated approach to deploying – and sharing – infrastructure, and a focus on connectivity in major transport corridors.”

“I am delighted to say that techUK already has initiatives underway, bringing together industry and public sector, to assist in policy development in these key areas.”

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techUK emphasised that both the government and the private sector need to work together to ensure that coverage is expanded. 5G will not be solely sufficient to adapt to the coming changes as network coverage is still sub-par in many parts of the country including main roads and motorways.

To combat this, operators will have to work with each other and the various levels of government as transmitter deployment is still slow and cumbersome.

The report also detailed that Ofcom should work to foster healthy competition between operators in order to increase the net benefits for all, through better pricing and broader network coverage.

Tony Lavender, CEO, Plum Consulting London LLP, said: “5G is an excellent opportunity for the UK to show its strength in research, development and industrialisation. Also to show how Government can work with industry and others to drive forward mobile technology and the broader solutions that will make more advanced mobile standards a reality.”

“A unique cooperation across both public and private sectors will be required to achieve these ambitious goals.”

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