BSG calls for resolution of 5G deployment challenges

09 Aug 2018

Roll out of 5G in the UK is at risk, warns a report published today by the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG), authored by Analysys Mason.

The report – ‘Lowering barriers to 5G deployment’ – aims to assist the UK Government in delivering its ambition to be a 5G leader by identifying and proposing solutions to current and potential barriers to network deployment.

Richard Hooper, Chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group noted that “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.”

Exuberance over the impending arrival of 5G by 2020 face multiple hurdles. According to research conducted by Analysys Mason, legal barriers, deployment issues and challenges with stakeholder engagement all have the potential to delay the rollout of 5G.

Taken together and against a background of uncertainty regarding the business case for denser 5G networks, these could also ultimately limit the deployment of 5G infrastructure. Currently they act as a significant brake on investment due to additional costs and/or delays, meaning that network providers will have difficulty committing to roll out, without greater certainty of success.

Alongside the uncertain investment case for 5G and in particular for very dense small cell networks, many challenges stem from the lack of certainty over the benefits that 5G will deliver for the UK.

Wider articulation of this value will help reduce uncertainty for industry and increase awareness of national priorities for mobile infrastructure within local authorities who have the greatest operational impact on network deployments.

The report identified thirteen specific barriers, reflecting practical challenges in planning and deploying mobile infrastructure for 5G. The report proposed a total of 21 recommendations for central government, local government and industry stakeholders – with short term wins including standardized access to public sector sites and leveraging the Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks Program to assist in the deployment of 5G networks.

Matt Yardley, Partner with Analysys Mason and project director for the study, commented that the next 12-18 months are vitally important for the mobile industry to prepare for 5G deployment.

“Easing barriers to deploying that result in lengthy delays in site planning, or increase costs of deployment to unrealistic levels, should be a key priority for government, local authorities and the industry,” he concluded.

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