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Gloucestershire Business News

Rural areas to be allowed larger 5G masts

The government plans to allow taller and wider mobile phone masts to be built across the countryside to help with the 5G rollout.

Under the proposals, mobile companies will be allowed to make new and existing masts up to five metres taller than the existing limit of 20 metres and two metres wider.

This will increase the range of masts and allow operators to fit more equipment on them so they can be more easily shared.

It is said the move will turbocharge the delivery of the £1 billion Shared Rural Network being built to eliminate 4G mobile 'not spots' in the countryside and will speed up rollout of next-generation 5G networks.

The government said the laws will incentivise mobile firms to focus on improving existing masts over building new ones, with fewer new masts needed for rural communities to get a better signal now and to take full advantage of future 5G-connected technology. This includes innovations in remote healthcare, self-driving vehicles and smart devices such as fridges, TVs and heating systems.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "We want to level up the country and end the plague of patchy and poor mobile signals in rural communities.

"We are setting out plans to make it easier for mobile firms to transform connectivity in the countryside and propel villages and towns out of the digital dark ages - providing a welcome boost for millions of families, businesses and visitors."

Rob Lister, director of Stonehouse-based Lister Unified Communications, said: "This is really good news as it will extend broadband ranges and speeds particularly into some of the more 'rural areas' around Gloucestershire that typically have much slower access. 

"In turn, this will certainly enhance options for remote working, video-calling and flexibility for businesses."

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