Mobile operators are investing billions of pounds every year into network capacity, coverage and capability. Indoor call coverage is now available to 92% of premises and data coverage reaches 88% from all four operators.
In the last six months alone, mobile operators have added area an equivalent to the size of Wales to the UK’s 4G mobile footprint. But the race to match today’s and tomorrow’s demand is a moving target. By 2025 it is expected the average customer, who today uses 1.9GB of data will be consuming 90GB. Enhancing 4G (and soon building 5G) is and will be crucial to meeting this surge in demand and getting the foundations right now is critical. After all, the combined value of 4G and 5G mobile connectivity is estimated to add £18.5 billion to the economy by 2026.
Local Government has a key role in addressing the key issues of mobile deployment and our report highlights three areas where it can have most impact: firstly, by adopting a proactive approach to mobile, showing strong political will and leadership; secondly, planning for the long term, by embedding mobile connectivity into every aspect of local government thinking; and finally, building partnerships and best practice, through the collaboration and exchange of ideas between themselves.
According to the Future Connectivity Challenge Group, the UK’s leadership in 5G could result in the opportunity to create £173 billion of incremental UK GDP growth over a ten-year period from 2020 to 2030.
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