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Further delays to UK 5G rollout could prove catastrophic

(Image credit: / Who Is Danny)

The UK's current 5G rollout plans are not panning out as intended and the results could be “catastrophic” for the economy, according to a new report from the Centre for Policy Studies.

The UK government's current plan is to have 51 percent of the country covered by the next generation of mobile connectivity by 2027.

If, on the other hand, the UK manages to onboard a quarter more, it could bring in $53.87 billion in GDP gains, the report claims.

The rollout is facing multiple delays, with Huawei being phased out of the process considered the most significant upset. If the delays continue at the current rates, more than 11 million households and businesses could miss out come 2027.

As a result, over the coming decade, the UK could lose out on more than $223 billion and forfeit its status as a global leader in 5G adoption.

The report further argues that, even though all verticals stand to gain from 5G, manufacturing, construction and agricultural sectors would benefit most - each of which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

To overcome deployment barriers, former government advisers Alex Jackman and Nick King believe urgent reforms to the Electronic Communications Code is necessary, as well as changes to the national planning rules.

The pair argue that the Government must wholeheartedly support digital infrastructure, which will help boost growth and “level up” the UK.