Top Banner

EE CEO warns that the UK needs to change its policies in relation to 5G technology

The CEO of leading UK operator EE has called on the British government to revise and amend its policies in relation to 5G technology, and failure to do so will risk the prospect of the UK falling behind other countries in relation to the implementation of 5G. Marc Allera, has urged policymakers to remove barriers to mobile infrastructure deployments and said the government has to support the rollout of the new telecom infrastructure that will be revolutionary once deployed.

EE, which is a subsidiary of UK fixed-line incumbent BT Group PLC, is currently struggling to add up to 500 new mobile sites to its footprint to improve services for its large customer bases. Allera claimed it has been fifteen years since an operator in the UK attempted to rollout new sites, and revealed that thus far it has proved to be extremely challenging. He said, "We are rolling out new sites and it has been 15 years since an operator has done that and I'm finding it too hard. We need regulation and support to speed up planning and make it easier to access sites. We experience landowners who charge ransom rents which make it hard to provide connectivity. We are grappling with things that the gas and electricity sectors don't have to."

Allera warned that the forthcoming implementation of 5G technology could well force EE to construct thousands of additional masts in order to support the demand for higher-speed connectivity. He highlighted the complexities involved in such a project - and reiterated his plea for policies which make it easier to carryout. Allera added, "You think about the complexities of planning regulations. It is going to need a framework and policies that make it easier."

EE has previously disclosed that it now covers 80% of the population with its 4G network. Howeverm the country was 45th in the world to launch the technology when EE first deployed its services back in October 2012. Allera claimed that in 2012, the UK lagged behind nations such as Armenia and Azerbaijan in relation to the implementation of 4G technology. The EE CEO has questioned raised the question of does the UK want to be the 45th nation in the world to launch 5G? According to Allera, the UK can lead 5G, but said in order for that to come to fruition the right policies and regulations need to be established.

llera concluded by saying, "Do we want to be 45th in the world to launch 5G or give ourselves a chance to be first and best?" he said. "That is what the UK deserves and it is vital it has the right policy and regulation that will enable and not stall innovation and investment in network infrastructure."