National Infrastructure Commission report into 5G and telecommunication technology

Has national roaming through small cells found its moment?

Date: 15 February 2017

Time: 6.00pm - 9.30pm

Venue: BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Cost: Free for charge, but, delegates must book a place via the BCS online booking system to gain access to the building on the day.


In March 2016, the National Infrastructure Commission was asked to consider how the UK could become a world leader in 5G deployment.

They ran an expensive consultation and published its findings late in 2016 showing how far UK are behind. CMA participated in that survey consultation and we had an event to collect opinion from our members.

You can read the full report and supporting documents here

A key paragraph from the report says.

“However, the UK lacks the level of coverage necessary to offer these basic mobile services ubiquitously. In rural areas 3% of the population do not have any coverage outside their homes (complete not-spots) and 25% do not have coverage offered by all the main mobile networks (partial not-spots). Coverage on our road networks is poor even for voice coverage (2G), 17% of A and B roads are in complete not-spots and an additional 42% have only partial coverage.”

Before 5G is even viable, 4G access could be maximised and provide mobile broadband by allowing “National Roaming”. (i.e. the ability for Mobile users to roam between operators and use the strongest available signal regardless of the contracted provider)

This will drastically improve the coverage in 'Partial not Spots' at minimal cost.

The Government is also considering how to improve fixed broadband coverage with immediate investment. Improved 4G coverage will go a long way towards delivering acceptable mobile broadband speeds where fixed coverage is inadequate. CMA and others have been lobbying for this for many years. It is extensively used in many countries (e.g. USA) but has been resisted by UK Operators and Government for various reasons.

CMA Will be holding a Seminar at BCS Southampton St. 18:00 - 21:30 on 15th February to discuss this.

James Body - Teletresearch (Past head of R+D, International Operator, Truphone)
Will be presenting a new Multi-Operator, Neutral Host, Small-Cell technology which is ready for trial deployment could deliver some quick wins. (Especially with the new Band 40 and 42 spectrum to be auctioned soon.)

Nick White - INTUG (International Telecommunications User Group)
Will discuss International Aspects and give some examples

Simon Barton - Trusted Management (Ex Silver Cyber Commander Met. Police)
Security issues were one of the Government objections. (Tracking of offenders etc.) Simon will review their case.

Senior Stakeholders have been invited from Government, Industry, Regulator and User circles and should provide a stimulating discussion.