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UK government ‘must take action’ to prepare for 5G

Lord Adonis

Lord Adonis

The UK government must take action now to secure Britain’s connected future and ensure the UK is ready for 5G, according to a new report.

The National Infrastructure Commission report into 5G and telecommunications technology said that mobile connectivity has become “a necessity” and called on the government to make sure that “our roads, railways and city centres must be made 5G ready as quickly as possible”.

According to the National Infrastructure Commission, the UK currently ranks 54th in the world for 4G coverage – behind countries including Romania, Albania and Peru.

“Our roads and railways can feel like digital deserts and even our city centres are plagued by not spots where connectivity is impossible,” said chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis.

“That isn’t just frustrating, it is increasingly holding British business back as more and more of our economy requires a connected workforce.

“5G offers us a chance to start again and get ahead. If government acts now we can ensure our major transport networks and urban centres are 5G ready in time to give British industry every chance to lead the world in exploiting its applications.”

The commission said that to ensure the UK is ready for 5G the railway network must rapidly improve connectivity, with the government providing a plan by 2017 and the infrastructure to be in place on key routes by 2025.

It also said that British motorways “must have mobile networks fit for the future” and that local authorities should work with network providers to deploy tens of thousands of small cells in urban centres.