11:29 20 April 2017
Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed that the Government will invest nearly £300 million on 5G technologies - £16 million will be invested into an “innovation network” designed to work with research institutions developing 5G and the remaining will be spent on robotics and self-driving cars.
However, rural campaigners are not impressed accusing the government of trying to “run before it can walk.” This comes after a recent study showed that mobile users could only get 4G coverage 43.7per cent of the time between June and August last year.
Charles Trotman, Country Land and Business Association senior economist, said that the government should focus on improving 3G and 4G first before it looks at 5G.
“5G is a brand new technology being piloted in urban areas and certainly won’t be in rural [areas] for a few years,” he said.
“What we want is a suitable and adequate mobile service now, which we can’t get. We’ve got a number of rural areas which can’t get an effective 3G signal, let alone 5G.”
“Nobody is in any way sure how effective 5G will be. It’s got to be tested and that’s not what the country requires at the moment. We don’t have universal coverage with 3G. I think the government is running before it can walk and it hasn’t thought about this properly.
“Moreover, the operators themselves would have to be satisfied they get a return on investment. I’m not convinced they think they could.”