News | 18 Apr 2024

Telecoms investment needed to support UK’s long-term prosperity, says new report

Infrastructure investment must not slow down if the UK wants to continue fighting inequality and avoid falling further behind other countries. That’s according to a new report by respected analysts, CCS Insight.

In the report, titled ‘Investing in the UK’s Connected Future’, CCS Insight suggests that sustained investment across the UK telecoms sector is crucial for all parts of society.

A lack of investment, they say, will see “the UK drop further behind its peers”, contributing to slower economic growth and even greater inequality.

The case for infrastructure investment

The analysis gives important context to the proposed merger between Vodafone UK and Three UK. If approved, the joint venture would have a large enough customer base to invest £11bn in developing one of Europe’s leading 5G networks.

By creating a more effective UK mobile competitor to BT/EE and Virgin Media O2, which is willing to invest, we can give mobile and home broadband customers across the UK a better experience, greater choice, and more value.

With the UK judged to have the slowest 5G download speeds out of all G7 countries in 2023, CCS Insight highlights the increasing need for the sector to make sustained investments, especially in light of both fixed-line broadband traffic and mobile data usage growth.

Vodafone pledges to close town vs country digital divide as report finds poorest rural areas are missing out

Vodafone today reaffirms its commitment to closing the digital divide, as new study reveals close to a million (838,000) people living in deprived rural communities would benefit from access to 5G standalone.

A widening digital divide

According to the report, a lack of investment could not just prevent the digital divide from being bridged, but in fact widen it.

The digital divide is the gap between those with internet access and those without. It is currently estimated that this measure of inequality affects 1.7 million households in the UK. Such unequal access to connectivity and digital skills can make everyday tasks more challenging and access to opportunities scarcer.

As part of its everyone.connected campaign, Vodafone has already helped more than 2 million people and businesses to cross the divide. This achievement has been made possible by: donating connectivity and tech; providing affordable and accessible services; and helping to upskill communities and their companies.

Andrea Dona: investment-at-scale needed for a truly Connected Britain

In a standing room-only auditorium at London’s ExCeL centre, Vodafone’s UK Chief Network Officer explained that 5G SA can indeed stretch across the UK - but only with the right environment for investment.

Building the UK’s digital future

Vodafone is committed to creating a better network that offers greater value and more choice for customers.

By merging with Three UK, it will be able to provide 5G Standalone (5G SA) to more than 95% of the places where people live and work, as well as ensuring coverage in every school and hospital across the country.

5G SA would increase both average network speeds and capacity – improvements that could drive up to £5 billion in economic benefits each year by 2030. All in aid of supporting the UK’s connectivity, economic and technology ambitions.

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