Challenges in deploying new mobile infrastructure could lead to delays in the rollout of 5G in the UK.
This is according to a new report published by the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG) and authored by Analysys Mason.
The report, ‘Lowering barriers to 5G deployment’, follows a study by Analysys Mason into the barriers to 5G deployment from both industry and local authority perspectives in the UK. It identifies key challenges faced during the deployment process.
It is also intended to help the UK government fulfil its ambition to be a 5G leader by identifying and proposing solutions to current and potential barriers to network deployment.
Legal barriers, deployment issues and challenges with stakeholder engagement were found to have the potential to delay the rollout of 5G. According to the researchers, these challenges, as well as the uncertainty regarding the business case for denser 5G networks, could also ultimately limit the deployment of 5G infrastructure.
They added that currently, these issues are “a significant brake on investment due to additional costs and/or delays”. This means that network providers will have difficulty committing to the rollout, while facing less certainty of success.
Alongside the uncertain investment case for 5G and, in particular, for very dense small cell networks, the report revealed that many challenges stem from the lack of certainty over the benefits that 5G will deliver for the UK.
Its authors said wider articulation of this value would help reduce this uncertainty for the industry, as well as increase awareness of national priorities for mobile infrastructure within local authorities who have the greatest operational impact on network deployments.
Richard Hooper, BSG chairman, said: “The government is rightly ambitious in wanting to ensure that the UK can benefit from being a global leader in the use of 5G.
“The difficulty lies in how to efficiently deploy the infrastructure that 5G requires and we believe that this report provides a roadmap for how we can do so – removing unnecessary barriers and helping to deliver more investment and ultimately better coverage and capacity for users.”