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Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, the county’s leading business body, is urging company bosses to help with its initial research into their current and future demand for 5G technologies.

5G is the fifth generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, the infrastructure for which has been slowly rolling out since 2019. 5G represents a generational advance over 4G technology as it provides not only advanced data and voice connectivity but is the key platform for the ‘internet of things’ and other advanced automation systems.

Working with Mobile UK, the national trade body representing the four operators: EE, Virgin Media O2, Three and Vodafone, Suffolk Chamber is seeking to ascertain current levels of awareness of the potential of 5G technology, how it is currently being used despite the limited coverage in Suffolk and the extent to which future business investment depends on having a robust 5G infrastructure in place.

Steve Britt, chair of Suffolk Chamber’s Transport & Infrastructure Group, said: “5G has the potential to unlock business growth, lower costs and accelerate other technological advances. It is also a leveller up for largely rural counties such as Suffolk, as the technology is not reliant on fixed lines which tend to be located in greater concentrations in larger towns and cities.”

Evidence of business need and growth potential is the key driver as to which areas the mobile operators will prioritise first with 5G infrastructure.

Paul Simon, Suffolk Chamber’s head of public affairs added: “That is why Suffolk needs to push to the front of the queue, but in an evidenced way. We would urge as many businesses as possible to complete our 5G survey as that will provide much-needed data and other evidence as to how the technology can boost Suffolk’s growth ambitions and will allow us to work with Mobile UK and other partners to prepare the case for 5G to communities, planners and councillors.”

Suffolk Chamber’s 5G survey will be countywide, albeit with a particular focus on the needs of its key growth corridors, including that along the A14 from Felixstowe to Newmarket.

The survey is being sent to Suffolk Chamber’s 7500 business database and is also available via this link.

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Suffolk Chamber

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