Digital technology has transformed today’s society across the UK. The economic and social impact it has delivered has created a constant demand for next-generation mobile technology:
- In the last 5 years, mobile network traffic has risen by a factor of ten, as we use more and more data
- We make about 90 billion phone calls a year in the UK (about 75% of all phone calls)
- During the Covid-19 outbreak the number of mobile calls rose by 50%
The demand is pressing, however progress is being held back because the Code is not enabling access agreements for telecoms infrastructure upgrades as intended.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that never have we been so reliant on digital infrastructure to work from anywhere, stay in touch with family, friends and colleagues, keep essential services and businesses running and access entertainment. As such, extending and enhancing connectivity across the country, especially in rural areas, is crucial.
The roll out of 5G and improvements in rural connectivity including through the Shared Rural Network to deliver better 4G networks will positively affect the UK economy across every part of our country. This technology will fundamentally change how we go about our daily lives, and touch every industry, not least healthcare, transport, agriculture and financial services.
As the UK strives for economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, we need action to meet connectivity demands now and build network resilience for the future.