4G to drive growth, create jobs and spark innovation, says CBI

4G to drive growth, create jobs and spark innovation, says CBI

The auction for the 4G mobile spectrum was completed yesterday (February 20th) and the knock-on benefits to British businesses will be huge, according to the CBI.

Everything Everywhere (EE), Hutchison 3G UK, Niche Spectrum (a subsidiary of BT), Telefonica and Vodafone were announced as the winning bidders, spending a combined £2.3 billion between them.

The announcement has been welcomed by a host of industry bodies, including the CBI, which believes that 4G will help to drive growth, create jobs and spark innovation at a time when the British economy desperately needs an injection of positivity.

Rhian Kelly, director for business environment at the organisation, said that faster connections will help to encourage private investment, underpin employment and enable new ideas to flourish and come to fruition.

"Digital networks are as vital today to growing the economy as road and rail links. Globalisation means firms are increasingly ruthless in choosing where to base their operations, so the roll out of 4G services will be key to attracting inward investment as well as winning business overseas," she added.

Last year, a survey carried out by CBI and KPMG revealed that 81 per cent of businesses saw the quality and reliability of digital infrastructure as a significant consideration when it came to making a decision over investment.

This figure had increased by seven percentage points from 2011, while 43 per cent said that it was "very significant".

The September 2012 results also revealed that more than four-in-five said UK digital networks had improved over the past five years, with a similar figure predicting this pattern to continue until 2017 – which should include 4G.

Yesterday, Ofcom said that "almost the whole UK population", including households and small and large businesses, will be able to receive 4G mobile services by the end of 2017 "at the latest".

Furthermore, Telefonica UK, the winner of the coverage obligation lot, has until the end of 2017 to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98 per cent of the population, increasing to 99 per cent for outdoors.