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Councils urged to do more to help 5G rollout warns Mobile UK

Paul Lipscombe
May 15, 2019

5G provides an opportunity to “break down barriers” according to Mobile UK

Mobile UK has urged more councils to prioritise the rollout of 5G, with new research revealing less than a third of councils’ Local Plans refer to mobile connectivity.

The GSM Association tips 5G to generate up to £164 billion by 2030, with councils central to supporting this rollout by granting planning permission or hosting new infrastructure to built sites.

However the report found that only 28 per cent of councils ‘Local Plans’ refer in detail to mobile connectivity, while more than half (65pc) don’t have a councillor with specific responsibility for digital issues.

Mobile UK head of policy and communications Gareth Elliot has called for a more collaborative approach from councils to support mobile operators rollout networks.

“Mobile connectivity has transformed our daily lives, and 5G is expected to take us even further, but we must ensure that at all levels of government we are equally prepared.

“Councils have a vital role, yet while many are working towards a connected future, our research has found there is still a lag in fully prioritising mobile connectivity.”

Elliot added: “With launch plans announced for 5G now is the time to take the opportunity to work with the industry to break down barriers and champion mobile connectivity, to ensure the next generation of mobile infrastructure can be deployed quickly and effectively.”

The report also found that nine in 10 (87pc) had not audited the suitability of their land, buildings and other infrastructure to host digital infrastructure, while 74pc had not applied for funding to improve digital connectivity.

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