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UK government ‘must take action’ on 5G

Dave Millett

The Government must handle the rollout of 5G better than it did 4G and that the UK’s current 4G network ranks only 54th in the world in terms of coverage, so says independent telecoms expert Dave Millett from Equinox.

Lord Andrew Adonis has today released his report on the mobile coverage in the UK – saying that the Government must handle the rollout of the UK’s future 5G mobile network better than it handled 4G. This is good news however what about those people and businesses who don’t even have 4G or even 3G and 2G in some cases. We are becoming a third world country for technical infrastructure. We are ranked lowest in Europe for fibre to the premise, and according to this report 54th in world for 4G. Unfortunately, the report is remarkably unambitious.

It proposes 5G should be in the UK by 2025, whereas Japan plans to have it ready for the 2020 Olympics. If we are to be a global trading country, we need the best global infrastructure. The Government and Ofcom need to be more assertive and force the networks to allow UK roaming. If their networks are good people won’t roam off them. You switch between networks when abroad why not in the UK?

It’s time the Government and Ofcom stopped letting the networks use ‘premises served’ as a measure of coverage; this is mobile technology – the clue is in the name – outdoor coverage is far more important – look at signals on trains and on most of the UK roads. They are dreadful. Who is going to fund it and ensure nationwide coverage? The sale of the 5G licences should focus less on raising money and rather be linked to providing coverage the quickest. If winners of the spectrum auction don’t meet their targets they forfeit the licence.

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