According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report 2020 EE, O2, Three and Vodafone first started rolling out 5G in the UK last year and have continued to extend their networks across the UK. Many 5G sites are in busy areas and are providing enhanced capacity to existing mobile data services.
Of all 5G sites that have been deployed, 87% are in England, 7% in Scotland and 3% in both Wales and Northern Ireland. This split broadly reflects the national distribution of all mobile traffic across the UK.
Mobile networks also successfully coped with the increased demands and changes in network traffic patterns during the lockdown period. There was an increase in call volumes and average call duration when the national lockdown was introduced, which networks successfully handled.
As restrictions continued, mobile hotspots shifted away from the city
centres to the suburbs and residential areas. Worryingly, 170,000 cumulative hours of service were lost as a result of attacks on mobile base stations – based on false conspiracy theories incorrectly linking 5G to Covid-19 and other health concerns – during this period.