5G technology is set to transform communications in the UK, with the government hoping to achieve 100 per cent coverage as soon as 2033. It’s a worthy goal and, if successful, will allow the UK to lead the way in 5G-enabled services and solutions. But is it realistic?
Urban and suburban locations are likely to achieve full connectivity within the next 14 years. because there’s a strong business case for doing so. But for rural areas, it’s not so simple.
With Ofcom promising only a “light touch” approach to stimulating competition, the weaker potential for ROI in rural areas could cause real problems. It’s likely that, without a real shakeup, 100 per cent coverage will remain a pipe dream.
It’s vital to connect the countryside
Rural areas need this technology just as much as urban areas. We mustn’t underestimate the impact 5G could have in rural England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Think farms with IoT tracking of livestock; ambulance services that could perform advanced diagnostics in remote villages; harvests performed by autonomous machines. 5G could completely transform the countryside, from industry and agriculture right through to everyday life. The question is: if competition isn’t enough, how can the UK make sure that rural areas get the connection they need?
Explore the possibilities of a new way of working
What’s needed isn’t complicated, it’s just a case of taking a new view and working in a way we’re not used to. To find out exactly how this could all come together, read my latest article “How to stop 5G falling at the first hurdle” .