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In a decision that could pave the way for faster mobile broadband to be introduced as early as later this year, MP for Penrith and the Border and long-time mobile broadband activist Rory Stewart has wholeheartedly welcomed Ofcom’s announcement yesterday that it will allow airwaves currently used for 2G and 3G mobile services to be re-used (or 'liberalised') for 4G mobile services, meaning faster mobile broadband services could start to be introduced in the UK this year.
He is proud to have supported this innovative decision, which will benefit people, businesses, and charities both here in Cumbria and across the UK in the coming years. He commented: “Following our piloting of this technology in Threlkeld earlier this year, I am delighted that Ofcom has announced its decision to reuse mobile airwaves for innovative 4G services, which could start to be rolled out as early as later this year. It sets a fantastic precedent - to use existing infrastructure in innovative ways - which I have long campaigned for. This has the potential to allow people here in Penrith and the Border to get the most from their mobile phones when introduced; and is of course yet another triumph in our long-running campaign to get improved internet infrastructure and access into our remoter communities. This is excellent news, which I wholeheartedly welcome.”
4G – also called 4G LTE - is the next generation of fast mobile broadband. It has the potential to provide consumers with faster downloads, more reliable connections, wider mobile broadband coverage, and the opportunity to get the most from the latest mobile phones and apps. 4G will also be good for the UK economy. It will be an important driver for economic growth, job creation and digital inclusion – improvements that can’t come a moment too soon. A recent report by Capital Economics, an independent economics consultancy, has estimated that faster 4G mobile networks have the potential to:
o Pump £5.5 billion of direct investment into the UK economy and support 125,000 jobs over three years
o Add 0.5 per cent to UK GDP once fully adopted
o Provide access to 10 million people in rural areas with superfast broadband by the end of the decade
The introduction of 4G is also expected to help the UK compete better with the rest of the world, catching up with nearly 40 other countries that already have 4G networks, including Germany, the U.S., Japan, India and Brazil. This will help our local businesses thrive, and make us a more attractive place for investment