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Wales in danger of 'falling behind' on 5G mobile coverage

A committee says planning laws should be relaxed to allow for taller masts. Credit: PA Images

Wales is in danger of falling behind on the delivery of a 5G phone network.

The 5G phone network will be able to connect more smart devices and offer higher speeds. It will also provide the network needed by self-driving cars to navigate.

A National Assembly Committee says mobile phone coverage in Wales already lags behind the rest of the UK.

It is critical that Wales in not left behind in this new era.

While the country as a whole prepares for the next generation of mobile connectivity, there are still parts of wales with no connection at all.

That simply isn't good enough.

– Russell George AM, Chair of the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee

The National Assembly's Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee says the Welsh Government must work with mobile providers to identify the challenges of 5G and how to tackle them.

The Committee planning laws should be relaxed to allow taller masts of 30 metres to be built, which would allow better coverage.

The Committee also found that while 4G network coverage in improving in Wales, this is due to investment from mobile phone networks rather than any interventions by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government says it is developing mobile action zones to address poor coverage. It says it is important to acknowledge that "the main levers for improving mobile phone coverage rest with the UK Government."