Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th December 2022.

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Photo of Nick Smith Nick Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the economic impact of the rollout of standalone 5G (a) in Blaenau Gwent constituency and (b) nationally.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Minister of State

In 2017, the government set an ambition for the majority of the UK population to have access to 5G by 2027. This has been met five years early, with basic “non-standalone” 5G - which uses 5G equipment on 4G infrastructure.

We expect the Mobile Network Operators to begin deploying Standalone 5G in 2023. This next phase of investment will help unlock the full potential of 5G as a foundational technology for the knowledge-based economy, to support uses in industrial and innovation in the provision of public services, bringing both significant economic and societal benefits to the UK.

We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy which will establish a new ambition for 5G rollout, and set out how the UK can realise the full socioeconomic benefits of advanced wireless connectivity. We aim to publish the strategy early next year.

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