The West Midlands and Birmingham have been ranked highest combined authority and city respectively in a new 5G mobile coverage study by independent telecoms advisory company umlaut.

The study analysed 5G coverage across the UK’s Combined Authority areas and placed the West Midlands first for 5G coverage, whilst Birmingham also ranked highest for 5G coverage among the top six cities in England and Scotland.

According to the report, by umlaut, Birmingham’s 5G coverage stands at 11.19%, followed by London and Manchester.

Among the Combined Authorities, the West Midlands stands at 7.34%, more than twice as much as its closest rival Greater Manchester.

The new report is announced by West Midlands 5G (WM5G), established as part of the UK Government’s 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Since its inception, WM5G has been working closely with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Local Authorities (LAs) to accelerate the roll-out of 5G across the region – with the project time for the deployment of infrastructure reducing by 6-12 months in some cases.

WM5G has worked with all seven Local Authorities within the West Midlands Combined Authority region to establish Digital Champions and Coordinators to assess barriers to 5G deployment.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, added: “5G is the future of technology in the UK, and it is great to see the West Midlands leading the way. Not only will 5G help shape our future economic successes, but it will also be a key provider of jobs across the region.

“These are incredibly difficult economic times, but we are determined to help protect and create jobs. Digital is already a key sector that is only going to get bigger, and the WMCA is working with colleges and training providers to allow people to improve their digital skills and make the most of the opportunity 5G brings.”

Rhys Enfield, Programme Director for Infrastructure Acceleration at WM5G, added: “We have worked tirelessly to help Local Authorities and Mobile Network Operators to find an appropriate balance between the economic and social benefits of 5G infrastructure and its visual impact, enabling us to remove the long-standing barriers to deployment in the region.

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