Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

The UK rollout of 5G and full fibre technologies

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 08-Mar-2023 13:54:06

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How is the UK progressing with the rollout of 5G and full fibre technologies?

All 4 major UK networks are well underway with their 5G rollouts. Three and EE are ahead in terms of numbers of cities compared with Vodafone and O2, however the reality is that most major cities now have 5G which accounts for over 50% of the population.  The expectation being set by the operators is that it will take a further 5 years to reach 90% of the population.  Achieving this will involve turning off the 3G networks to re-use that spectrum to support 5G.  The last 10% may well require technology or an approach that has not yet been used in UK mobile networks such as using 5G satellite constellations to provide infill.


Biggest opportunities

The performance offered by 5G can be better than the performance offered by the fixed line broadband service available in many locations.  The channel are bound to have customers with poor broadband performance and 5G could well be the answer, especially when combined with a high performance 5G router and external antenna.

5G provides high performance Internet access in locations where there is no fixed line connectivity at all.  This means locations where solutions such as hosted voice, collaboration, IP CCTV could never have been supplied are now accessible for the first time.

5G requires new devices to take full advantage of the increased performance.  A fact often overlooked is that all the UK networks support LTE-Advanced or 4G+ with a much larger footprint than their 5G networks and yet the vast majority of 4G routers on the market today don’t take advantage of the extra performance.  In some cases a good quality LTE-Advanced or 5G router would provide up to 4 times the performance on 4G compared to using a device that doesn’t support LTE-Advanced.  In many cases where you’re deploying 4G in a fixed location we would recommend installing a 5G router because it will provide much better 4G performance and will be ready for 5G when the coverage reaches that location.

Biggest challenges

One of the biggest challenges is that a customers existing equipment may not be ready for the latest 5G or full fibre technologies. This means that there is a potentially significant capital expenditure required.

To address this problem, we launched our Device as a Service offering.  Good quality, high performance 5G devices are expensive, potentially three or four times the price of the equivalent 4G device.  Our channel told us that this was an obstacle to 5G adoption.  So now we offer all our devices on an Op-Ex model so that the channel partner and the customer don’t have any hefty upfront costs that might put them off taking advantage of 5G.


Many of us are already benefiting from the improved bandwidth and increased reliability offered by the latest connectivity technologies.  We probably have more interactions using video today than we do using voice thanks to the change in working imposed on us because of COVID.  However, we are seeing more and more opportunities where businesses are using video to improve site safety, security and even monitor production processes in a way that would have been impossible without the latest connectivity technologies.

A benefit of 5G and full fibre that is often overlooked is the energy efficiency of these next generation technologies compared to their predecessors.  This means that businesses and network operators themselves can achieve a lot more whilst consuming a lot less energy.

Channel suppliers

No single mobile operator and no single fibre provider will have the perfect footprint that covers 100% of a reseller’s customer base. It makes sense to work with an aggregator that can provide access to a number of different operators and complimentary products and services such as devices and device management.

A good aggregator will provide you with a portal where you can manage your customer connectivity services from cradle to grave, regardless of who the underlying operator is.  The best aggregators will enable you to extend this portal out to your own customers so they can manage their own connectivity.


Jola is an award-winning, supplier of business communications, specialising in mobile data SIMs. Jola sells on a wholesale basis to MSPs, ISPs, IT Support companies and Telecommunications Resellers. These channel partners supply solutions to public sector organisations and enterprises worldwide. Mobile Manager was the first of its kind and still the most used portal in the channel. To find out more, request our Partner Pack.

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Topics: 5G

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