Mobile operators are struggling to keep up with demands for downloads and their efforts to expand the size of existing networks and backhaul services don’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Subsequently there is now a large emphasis on the introduction of 4G data services.
A report commissioned by a leading mobile operating network went so far as to suggest that the economy could receive a £ 75 billion annual boost by the end of the decade if the technology was rolled out in the very near future. This large figure is based on the fact that the faster mobile broadband speeds could save businesses 37 million hours a year waiting for downloads.
4G will provide a huge boost to the UK economy that would come on top of a predicted investment of some £ 5.5 billion to implement 4G – this would either create or safeguard around 125,000 jobs.
The report is part of a bold lobbying exercise by a big player in the mobile industry. It highlights the fact that the UK already has one of the highest levels of smartphone penetration and mobile commerce in Europe and that this makes it an imperative to join the other 30 countries, which are already benefiting from 4G. It would also be highly beneficial to the 10 million Britons who still won’t be connected to superfast fixed line broadband by the end of the decade.
The sponsors of the report also quote findings by the You Gov voting organisation showing, quite unsurprisingly, that three quarters of the population want 4G introduced as soon as possible; they believe that it would improve the nation’s productivity and help with international competitiveness. Presumably the other quarter consisted of elderly people who didn’t have much idea as to what the survey was about in the first place.
If the government decides that more infrastructure spending is needed to help with accelerating economic recovery and as the mobile industry and its customers are keen to see 4G rolled out rapidly, it’s likely to be a project on the list. Additionally it’s going to be funded by the private sector. All that is standing in the way is for OFCOM, the industry regulator to get on with its auction of the bands of spectrum, which will hopefully be later on this year.
To find out more about backhaul and managed networks, see more articles by MLL Telecom.