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Infrastructure body calls for ultra-fast mobile network fit for connected vehicles

Date: 14 December 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Government's independent infrastructure recommendation body, the National Infrastructure Commission has claimed the UK's strategic roads  "must have a telecommunications network that is fit for the future."

It comes as the body has published its latest report, which found the UK's 4G mobile phone network is worse than Peru's, and 54th in the world, with the typical user only being able to access 4G 53% of the time.

The Infrastructure Committee advised the Government its network for the future should be in place by 2025 at the latest in order to fit in with the deployment of the ultra-fast 5G network which can meet the needs of future connected vehicles.

According to the committee, at present, the nation's roads and railways "feel like digital deserts", which can hamper businesses thanks to the frequent deadzones and a need for connected workers.

In order to hit thre 2025 deadline, the body said the Government needs to set out how it plans to deliver the superfast network by 2017.
"Britain is 54th in the world for 4G coverage, and the typical user can only access 4G barely half the time. Our 4G network is worse than Romania and Albania, Panama and Peru," said chair of the National Infrastructure Committee, Lord Adonis. "If the Government acts now we can ensure our major transport networks and urban centres are 5G ready in time to give British industry every chance to lead the world in exploiting its applications."
"From connected vehicles to the internet of things, 5G will support a whole new way of communicating and doing business. The UK must not be left behind," he added.

According to the major infrastructure body, upgrades to telecoms infrastructure alongside the nation's motorway network would cost in the region of £380m.