Brexit should not hold back 5G development, report says

A government commissioned report says Brexit should not hinder developments of the UK’s development of its 5G networks.

The Future Communications Challenge Group (FCCG) report – commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by the – says that existing international structures and standardisation should mean the impact of Brexit on the development of future 5G mobile networks, and Britain’s ability to influence them, will be largely undiminished.

The report added that both mobile network operators (MNOs) and suppliers would continue to need to use and influence the development of technical standards for networks and equipment. It said the cost of developing competitive standards would be so high that it would be uneconomical for companies to develop hardware such as handsets solely for the UK market.

Also, consumers will still need to roam across borders, and internationally available services will still need to be made available, so it would be “quite incorrect” to view Brexit as an opportunity to develop competing hardware or standards.


Revolutionary technology

The report adds that 5G will provide revolutionary new technologies to manage a seamless evolution in network, mobile and wireless services to deliver significant opportunities for new business models, enhanced lifestyles and increased productivity.

It is intended to support an exponential increase in mobile data demand and expectations, significant video communications growth, the full realisation of the IoT (internet of things) and the varying needs of different vertical industries, such as Creative Industries, Retail, Transport and Health as part of a much broader UK digital economy.

5G therefore needs to be a collaborative effort in order to enable development of seamless services using common approaches to benefit all of industry, academia and society. So an unprecedented degree of collaboration across industries, government departments and independent bodies will be required.

The UK has a strong track record and ‘DNA’ in collaborative working across diverse teams and has a real chance to show leadership in this space.

The report goes on to request that the government uses the funding announced in the Autumn Statement to fund 5G activities to provide the catalyst for the UK to improve our national infrastructure and services from transport to healthcare, from education to entertainment – with improved broadband to help local businesses grow and create more jobs and opportunities and the large scale, low delay, highly reliable services to deliver the IoT. It will ensure that the UK seizes the real chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G.

The full report can be viewed here.

Related reading