On Wednesday The Chancellor provided some much needed fuel to power Britain’s ambition to become a world-leading digital economy.
As we saw in the papers earlier this week, The Budget delivered a package of innovation and technology investments that give a vital boost to the UK, and I’m proud to see mobile sitting front and centre.
Mobile connectivity is one of the UK’s most powerful opportunities to strengthen and grow our economy, while also improving the lives of the British public.
The headline announcement of £160m extra funding into 5G infrastructure is great news for the future of our country. As part of the overall investment, one of the initial projects will test the best ways of deploying 5G on roads, something that will benefit customers and is also important for driverless cars in the future.
I was also pleased to see £35m of new funding to look at ways of improving connectivity for passengers on trains, initially focusing on trackside infrastructure on the Trans-Pennine route. It’s something which is vital for operators and the rail industry to get right for British citizens and this is a good step in the right direction.
It’s these announcements that make me excited about a Britain powered by mobile.
In fact, our own research already tells us that 5G will contribute an additional £7 billion to the UK economy each year by 2026. This is a figure that can’t and shouldn’t be glossed over, and it’s why I maintain my call on Government to prioritise mobile in its industrial strategy.
However, the pressure is also on all of us to make this a reality: the mobile industry, local government, the transport sector, businesses, developers and town planners. To truly realise the ambition, we need greater and urgent collaboration.
We must build collaborative partnerships and work together to run efficient and effective deployment of improved mobile networks, delivering a better connected experience for everyone.
Only then will we be able to become a world-leading digital economy.
The opportunity is there for the taking. Everything points to mobile sitting at the centre of the future of this country.
We must move Britain to be a truly mobile nation. Anything less would be an opportunity missed. Let’s work to make it an opportunity seized together.
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