UK highlighted by the negative with the implementation of 5G in Europe

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The implementation of 5G networks in UK is considered a negative case study according to the EUToday portal, highlighting the efforts made in the European Union to fill the differences in access to telecommunications networks, especially now with 5G.

Addressing the need for Europe to come together to create a connected space, promoting the digital economy and ensuring easy access to the Internet and mobile networks, a state of play regarding infrastructures for 5G is now operated.

Europe needs to come together around 5G

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According to the portal, Europe will lag behind rival markets like Asia in terms of digital communications. Moreover, with the advent of the fifth generation of mobile networks, the work that remains to be done becomes more visible.

The reasons for this lag in implementation are related to the need for investment in new infrastructure. At the same time, the constraints imposed by the national regulators of the telecommunications markets also put more emphasis on the allocation of 5G band intervals to local operators.

On the other hand, investment in the digital economy and development is one of the European bloc’s priorities. To this end, up to 20% of the coronavirus recovery fund will be allocated to investment in 5G networks. European digital sovereignty is urgently needed.

This understanding in the Union follows the study and the current situation of this market. It is pointed out that European operators invest more than their Asian and North American counterparts in network infrastructure.

In view of this situation, the European Union has identified additional funding needs of around € 125 billion annually to accelerate the digital transformation. Of this figure, 42 billion euros are needed to build the infrastructure.

UK as a perfect case study in the European Union

The publication points to UK as a “perfect case study”. UK, as a Member State and as microcosms in which the transition to 5G shows its vicissitudes and challenges, or in its words “the digital dilemma”.

Starting on a positive note, highlighting UK’s successes in the digital market by citing companies like OutSystems and Farfetch, among other companies in the technological field, the UK’s nation is cited as a growing “tech hub”.

Also noteworthy is the tax effort and attractive conditions for new digital entrepreneurs in UK. Whether through tax exemptions or direct support to the new digital industries, there are several benefits for anyone looking to create a company in this sector.

Unfortunately, UK is pointed out as a bad case in the implementation of the fifth generation mobile networks. The digital infrastructure, according to the publication, is not at the required level. Here in contrast to countries like Finland that have already managed to allocate the entire 5G band quickly and efficiently among the various operators.

UK divided between ANACOM and MEO, NOS and Vodafone

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In UK, however, there is a climate of tension between national operators and the regulator. On the one hand we have MEO (Altice UK), NOS and Vodafone. On the other hand, we have ANACOM, which has redoubled its regulatory efforts.

We are going through a period of litigation and animosity in which operators criticize the regulator and vice versa. Meanwhile, the auction for the 5G network frequencies takes place gradually and in stages, but not without wide contestation.

ANACOM preferred to give special treatment to new interested parties, new operators who want to start operating in UK. According to the regulator, this serves to try to undo the dominance of three entities in the national market.

This facilitation for new players has its disadvantages. As part of the unique conditions is a lower network speed than that of established operators. Not to mention the 10-year period with roaming access to rival the dominant operators (MEO, NOS and Vodafone), so that new operators can establish themselves.

5G networks in UK may present serious asymmetries

Furthermore, the new operators will only have to cover between 25% to 50% of the national population. Now, given the geographic distribution of the inhabitants, it would be enough for a new operator to concentrate on the large metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto.

In summary, this forced opening by ANACOM may result in restricted coverage of the national territory and lower speeds compared to other operators. Although the purpose is to promote competition, it is possible that this will result in severe delays, and disparate implementations of 5G network coverage.

Operators such as MEO, NOS and Vodafone have been expressing their displeasure at the action of ANACOM. The impasse continues, however, UK lives in the uncertainty of 5G.

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