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UK Infrastructure Commission Consults on Future 5G Mobile Rollout

Friday, May 20th, 2016 (11:24 am) - Score 610
5g mobile broadband

The National Infrastructure Commission has launched an 8-week consultation on the future deployment of 5G based Mobile Broadband services across the United Kingdom, which seeks to understand what the service will deliver and how many barriers might get in its way (cost, legal, planning etc.).

At present 5G is still in early development, with many different teams working on potential standards, and as such we don’t yet have a fully defined standard or a good understanding of how the final service might work. The history of mobile technology is littered with fragmented standards, so this is hardly a new problem.

More recent developments (example) have also suggested that some operators may once again be prepared to jump the gun by launching before a final standard can be agreed, which might be good for some but it may also create problems if other countries adopt something different at a later date.

The NIC recognises that “there is a relatively high degree of uncertainty about the nature and range of applications 5G will enable,” but none the less they are pressing forward because the Government has repeatedly expressed a desire to be “at the vanguard of deployment.”

Readers may recall that the UK lagged behind in the 4G race due to long-running disputes and legal squabbles between operators and Ofcom over spectrum and related issues, which is something that the Government will wish to avoid for 5G. On the flip side the late deployment did give us more mature (advanced) 4G hardware to use, which always has some benefit.

Key 5G Consultation Questions

* What uses have been envisaged for 5G?

* Of those use cases identified, which appear most credible from a UK perspective, and over what timeframe?

* What is the potential scale of benefits?

* What regulatory, planning and other key challenges need to be overcome to support the rapid and cost effective deployment of 5G across the UK?

* What are the infrastructure requirements for 5G deployment likely to be?

* Who should bear the deployment costs of 5G?

* Is the existing UK telecommunications model able to facilitate the efficient roll out of 5G infrastructure and technologies?

Anybody choosing respond must do so by 11th July 2016 and the NIC then expects to report with its assessment and recommendations by the end of 2016, which will be used to underpin the government’s 5G strategy that is due to be unveiled during Spring 2017.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. MikeW

    Strange references in that document. It refers to 5G as just a “fifth generation telecommunications systems” and almost entirely forgets to use the moniker of being mobile.

  2. Mike

    No doubt it will take too long and cost too much.

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