5G subscription share will increase to 69.6% in 2027 from 7.9% in 2021, supported by the government and operators’ efforts in the UK.

In March 2023, Ofcom announced that it would open the mm-wave spectrum auction in the 26GHz and 40GHz bands to new mobile technologies, including 5G services.

This would expand wireless data capacities and speeds, which are advantageous in high population density regions. It will also further support enhanced wireless applications such as virtual reality, factory automation, and driverless cars. Moreover, in April 2023, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) announced a wireless infrastructure strategy, including 5G SA coverage expansion. DSIT aims to expand this coverage to all populated areas and increase service adoption in corporate and public sectors.

Telcos also contribute to accelerating adoption. For example, VMO2 has launched 5G services in the London Underground tube network and plans to further expand coverage on the underground. It also launched a plug-and-play 5G standalone private network to provide businesses in rural and urban areas without complex installation of private networks.

Furthermore, the proposed merger between Three and Vodafone will achieve scale synergy to expand the network. The combined entity has a plan to cover 99% of the population with 5G SA network by 2034. On the back of the government and operators’ expansion plans, 5G subscription share will increase from 7.9% in 2021 to 69.6% in 2027.

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By GlobalData