20 December 2016

According to a government-appointed panel of experts, the UK is 54th in the world for 4G mobile networks. Is this just one example of the UK being left in the Digital slow lane?

Being 54th in the list puts the UK behind the likes of Romania, Albania and Peru. This is extremely concerning considering the wealth and expectation on the United Kingdom. After voting to leave the EU, the UK must ensure they are stronger in areas like this.

There are too many ‘Digital deserts’ according to the report. Whilst coverage over major cities like Bristol and London is generally strong – there are still 4G ‘black holes’ and more localised suburban and countryside areas often struggle to pick up 4G at all. You may think this is normal and something you just have to deal with, but it is not the case in other countries across the world. Coverage is much more widespread in many other countries, with many Asian countries towards the top (South Korea 1st, Japan 2nd) – as reported by BBC Technology.

The report found that 20% of urban homes and 80% of rural premises are currently in not-spot areas for 4G coverage. nly 8% of A and B roads have full 4G connectivity, the report found.

On the road? Well only 8% of A and B roads have full 4G connectivity and on motorways, users fail to get either 3G or 4G almost 25% of the time.

NIC chairman Lord Adonis said: “5G is the future – ultra-fast, and ultra-reliable it has the potential to change our lives and our economy in ways we cannot even imagine today. But the UK is currently languishing in the digital slow lane.

“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.

“Our roads and railways can feel like digital deserts and even our city centres are plagued by not-spots where connectivity is impossible.

“That isn’t just frustrating, it is increasingly holding British business back as more and more of our economy requires a connected workforce.”

Lord Adonis added: “5G offers us a chance to start again and get ahead.

I think that will be the main concern. If Britain continues to be left behind in this part of the Digital world, then they can expect business to suffer. The knock-on effect from poor connectivity across the United Kingdom could be catastrophic.

With 5G on the horizon, the UK needs to get a head start and ensure there’s a much better roll-out of this Digital development.

Are you looking to or do you currently work in the Digital world? Take a look at our range of Digital jobs on our job board