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5G Is Critical For UK's Business Success

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In the Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond identified the integral role that digital infrastructure plays in the UK economy, and allocated £740M for trials of 5G.

WiredScore UK managing director William Newton said significant investment in the country’s digital infrastructure is needed, especially if the government plans to address the “not-spots” along prominent transport networks, in 20% of urban premises and almost 80% of rural premises.

With 80% of mobile traffic originating from inside buildings, it is crucial that in-building mobile service remains a critical consideration, Newton said. After the inconsistent rollout of 4G across Europe, the EU has already recognised critical steps that must be taken to ensure the 5G rollout is smoother and up to standard.

WiredScore UK CEO William Newton

Newton (shown) says 5G has the potential to revolutionise our consumer and corporate experience and create new uses. 5G plays a major role as emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, become a significant part of our lifestyle. T-Mobile plans for 5G to improve communications with more realistic and immersive virtual reality and augmented reality; AT&T predicts it will aid great advancements in robotics and self-driving car technology, and Verizon’s expects 5G will facilitate an “internet of everything.”

Collaboration between the government and mobile operators will be crucial to deliver 5G, Newton said. Earlier this year, the CEOs of several British and European communications service providers, including Vodafone, BT and Three, signed the 5G Manifesto containing key recommendations on how the EU can support further innovation and the deployment of the new network, as well as suggested timelines for a commercial rollout. For a successful rollout, the UK government must engage with these key industry players and ensure its plans for 5G take into account the challenges and opportunities that the Manifesto presented around net neutrality, the network spectrum, and the importance of collaboration across industries so the network’s complexity doesn’t slow down its introduction, Newton said.