5G vs Lampposts

22.05.2019

The latest 5G saga is surrounding lampposts, believe it or not. The beautiful grey, so called ‘street furniture’ has become the centre of a lively debate involving the deployment of 5G. 

The reason being, 5G requires a dense network to operate and the transmitters need to be high up to be most effective. Lampposts therefore, seem like the ideal candidate for the deployment of 5G transmitters in order to create 5G networks.

You may be aware that the government has pledged to connect 15 million premises to 5G by 2025. The Mobile Network Operators have jumped at the opportunity, planning to use lampposts and other tall structures in cities to implement their 5G networks and get their slice. 

Many of the UK’s councils are stretched for cash and have positioned this as a money-maker as council property will be used. There are many landlord and council cases in court at the moment, with the aim to be that they should be able to charge the Mobile Network Operators a fee for attaching their equipment to their property. The councils make a good case, arguing that the money they would make from the scheme would allow for 5G to be rolled out. 

The Mobile Network Operators are claiming that local councils are standing in the way of allowing the 2025 goal to be achievable. They’ve also threatened legal action to those who stand in their way. Many have suggested that the court cases will simply slow down the deployment of 5G and have called on the government to define clearer rules.

Another problem is that the more rural areas will be missed out by the Mobile Network Operators who are focussing on the larger opportunities. Not forgetting that some smaller areas still don’t have access to 3G, there have been calls for the government to regulate the deployment more closely. 

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