A new report into the standard of 4G connectivity has, in less than glowing terms, asserted UK networks must do a better job of rolling out the future 5G network.
According to the investigation by government-appointed experts, the UK’s 4G infrastructure ranks only 54th in the world. 54th!
“The UK’s networks are not complete. There are too many digital deserts across the country and the availability of our 4G network is worse than many countries including Albania, Panama and Peru,” the National Infrastructure Commission said (via BBC).
Related: What is 5G?
The report also pushed ministers to ensure there are far less black spots when it comes to the rollout of 5G services.
According to Lord Andrew Adonis, the lead investigator at the NIC, the standard of connectivity on the UK’s train lines and motorways is “frankly appalling” and said Highways England and Network Rail must take “direct responsibility” for ensuring coverage improves.
Lord Adonis said: “We particularly think there is a big problem with our road and rail networks. Up to 25% of the time it is not possible to get a decent signal.
“The government has been putting more investment and obligation requirements on the mobile operators but we think that needs to be taken further.”
In response to the report, Ofcom questioned the accuracy of the results, but agreed that coverage across the UK must improve.
A spokesperson for the communications regulator said: “We agree that mobile coverage must improve, so we’re pleased the NIC shares our ambition for universal coverage,” said a spokesman for the communications regulator.
“Our rules mean that virtually all UK premises must receive a 4G signal by the end of next year, and we’re also making more airwaves available to boost mobile broadband.”
A spokesperson for the Treasury said: “We want the UK to become a world leader in 5G, which is why we asked NIC to carry out this study.”
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