Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Could the Shetland Islands be the first in the UK to receive 5G?

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 22 November 18

Representatives from Faroese Telecom travelled to Shetland last week to discuss the possibility of launching a 5G network on-island

Faroese Telecom has offered to bring 5G mobile network coverage to the Shetland Isles and Outer Hebrides, according to reports in the Scottish press. The Shetland News newspaper reported that representatives from the Faroe Islands biggest connectivity provider…

Faroese Telecom has offered to bring 5G mobile network coverage to the Shetland Isles and Outer Hebrides, according to reports in the Scottish press.

The Shetland News newspaper reported that representatives from the Faroe Islands biggest connectivity provider, Faroese Telecom, visited the Shetland Islands last week to discuss the potential to provide 5G coverage to 100 per cent of the islands 25,000 strong population.  

In order to launch 5G services in the remote Scottish islands, Faroese Telecom would require an operating license from the UK government, as well as approval from the UK's telecoms regulator, Ofcom.

UK based mobile network operators Vodafone and O2 have expressed an interest in rolling out 5G services in the Scottish Island groups, and any decision for the government to allow an overseas player to beat them to the punch would likely meet with strong resistance from the indigenous players.

The Shetland Island Council's chief executive, Maggie Sandison said that she would consider Faroese Telecom's proposal, if it was in the best interest of the community.

“Faroese Telecom were presenting their business delivery model for broadband and 5G,” Sandison told the Shetland News.

“They discussed a proposal that could offer improvement to mobile coverage in Shetland – 100 per cent 5G. Improving both mobile and broadband services is a political priority for the council and we understand community priority so would support any project which would improve digital connectivity quickly for our community," she said.

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