New Broadband Stakeholder Group report identifies urgent 5G mobile deployment challenges to be resolved

20 July 2018

Press release

London, UK - Challenges in deploying new mobile infrastructure risk delaying the roll out of 5G in the UK, according to a report published today by the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG), authored by Analysys Mason.

The report – ‘Lowering barriers to 5G deployment’ – is the outcome of a study by Analysys Mason researching barriers to 5G deployment from both industry and local authority perspectives in the UK, identifying key challenges faced during the deployment process. The report 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.

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

Richard Hooper, Chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group 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.”

Matt Yardley, Partner with Analysys Mason and project director for the study, commented “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”.

Notes to editor:

This report on lowering barriers 5G deployment builds on an earlier report published by Analysys Mason and the BSG in May 2017 exploring barriers to the deployment of fixed telecoms infrastructure. Access to fibre networks will underpin the deployment of 5G, and the new report finds that the recommendations for lowering barriers to fixed network deployment (from the May 2017 report) should also be acted on as quickly as possible to support the UK in becoming a world leader in 5G.

For media queries, please contact:

Natalie Smith
Analysys Mason
+44 20 7395 9000

Harri Turnbull
+44 20 7331 2011

About the Broadband Stakeholder Group

The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) is the UK Government’s advisory group on broadband. It provides a neutral forum for organisations across the converging broadband value-chain to discuss and resolve key policy, regulatory and commercial issues with the ultimate aim of helping to create a strong and competitive UK knowledge economy.

The BSG is composed of organisations from across the sector, including fixed-internet access, voice telephony service providers, mobile operators, infrastructure providers, vendors, content providers and broadcasters.

About Analysys Mason

Analysys Mason is a global consultancy and research firm specialising in telecoms, media and technology for more than 30 years. Since 1985, Analysys Mason's consulting and analyst teams have played an influential role in key industry milestones and helping clients around the world through major shifts in the market. Our consulting and research divisions continue to be at the forefront of developments in analytics, digital services and transformation and in advising clients on new business strategies to address disruptive technologies. Our experts located in offices around the world provide local perspective on global issues. 

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