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Mobile UK highlights need for partnership with launch of new report “Councils and Connectivity”

Councils and Connectivity Report 1

Mobile UK has launched in Parliament our new flagship report outlining the crucial role for local councils in rolling out mobile connectivity. The report highlights the opportunities for partnership with the industry and offers practical measures for reform that can help break down barriers that will help the UK realise its ambition to be a leading digital economy with world class mobile connectivity.

Mobile operators are investing billions of pounds every year into network capacity, coverage and capability. Indoor call coverage is now available to 92% of premises and data coverage reaches 88% from all four operators. [1] In the last six months alone, mobile operators have added area an equivalent to the size of Wales to the UK’s 4G mobile footprint. [2] But the race to match today’s and tomorrow’s demand is a moving target. By 2025 it is expected the average customer, who today uses 1.9GB of data [3], will be consuming 90GB [4]. Enhancing 4G (and soon building 5G) is and will be crucial to meeting this surge in demand and getting the foundations right now is critical. After all, the combined value of 4G and 5G mobile connectivity is estimated to add £18.5 billion to the economy by 2026. [5]

Local Government has a key role in addressing the key issues of mobile deployment and our report highlights three areas where it can have most impact: firstly, by adopting a proactive approach to mobile, showing strong political will and leadership; secondly, planning for the long term, by embedding mobile connectivity into every aspect of local government thinking; and finally, building partnerships and best practice, through the collaboration and exchange of ideas between themselves.

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications, Mobile UK said:

“Building Mobile Britain relies on strong partnerships and local Government has a vital role to play in delivering this goal. Our report, Councils and Connectivity, outlines how proactive local government leadership, planning and the sharing of ideas can enable and unlock opportunities to achieving a world class connected economy.”

The full report Councils and Connectivity: How local government can help to build mobile Britain can be read here.

[1] Ofcom, Connected Nations Spring Update 2018, 2018
[2] Ibid
[3] Ibid
[4] Three UK customer prediction based on Ofcom Mobile Data Strategy, 2016
[5] O2, Tech-onomy: Measuring the impact of 5G on the nation’s economic growth, 2017