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Broadband’s rollercoaster year

Simon Creasey investigates some of the key developments that have taken place in 4G and 5G over the past 12 months, and the subsequent implications for UK business

The past year has been somewhat of a rollercoaster for 5G in the UK, with a variety of important developments taking place, often in quick succession.

For instance, in July – in response to US sanctions imposed on Chinese technology giant Huawei – the UK government announced that operators should stop procuring new equipment from the company. What’s more, all of its 5G equipment is to be removed by the end of 2027, with telecoms providers furthermore instructed to stop installing Huawei kit from the end of September this year.

As if that wasn’t dramatic enough, we also saw a period last year when multiple 5G phone masts were attacked by members of the public, and in some cases burnt to the ground. These actions were carried out by conspiracy theorists nurturing the belief that the technology is in some way responsible for the spreading of COVID-19.

Add to the mix unprecedented demand for data in response to the greatest working-from-home experiment in history, and you could say that it has been a challenging period for both the technology and the sector.

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