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Government’s proposals in telecoms review get green light from operators

Paul Lipscombe
July 30, 2018

Plans have been outlined to have 100 per cent Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) coverage in the UK by 2033 which is essential in underpinning 5G coverage

The major operators in the UK have welcomed the government’s initial proposals put forward in its Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) in assisting the rollout of 5G.

In the proposals, the government has outlined plans to have 100 per cent Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) coverage in the UK by 2033 and that this full fibre coverage is essential in underpinning 5G coverage.

Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright
has claimed that the plans will “create more commercial opportunities and make it easier and cheaper to roll out infrastructure for 5G”.

As part of the plans there will be increased access to spectrum for innovative 5G services, as well as operators being provided with a “right to entry” to tenanted properties for access to provide 5G.

A Three spokesman issued a statement welcoming the proposed plans and hopes the reforms are introduced as soon as possible.

“Forward planning for 5G is critical and while proposals in the report should make it easier and more cost effective to roll out infrastructure, it is vital these reforms, particular to the planning system, are implemented as quickly as possible.”

Vodafone also welcomed the FTIR report: “It is important that this deployment happens as quickly as possible to prevent the UK falling further behind the rest of Europe.”

BT, which owns operator EE, also believes the ambitions set out in the review are correct and the focus is right.

“BT is already investing in 5G and in FTTP where we want to invest further and faster across the country – but to do so we need to be confident of making a fair return.”

However, analysts are more sceptical, as IDC European mobility associate vice president John Delaney said: “It’s a set of good intentions but they will need to be realised.”

GfK director of technology Imran Choudhary said: “At this stage whether or not it is cheaper for operators remains up for discussion as the impact will largely rest on the guidelines and how collaborative the industry is.”

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