A TELECOMS expert has called for a united approach to overcoming Scotland’s vast geographical hurdles when it comes to 5G – the latest stage in mobile connectivity.

Ricky Nicol said he believes that positive collaboration is needed to ensure the country does not fall behind because of the challenges of rolling out the new technology.

It is thought that an extra 400,000 phone masts – some 80ft high – would be needed to bring the 5G network to the UK.

On top of that, a full fibre rollout across the country would be essential to make the network fully effective – as 5G will ultimately require the near limitless capacity that fibre networks provide.

The National: 5G is the latest generation of mobile communications5G is the latest generation of mobile communications

Nicol, CEO of telecoms group Commsworld, said he is concerned that Scotland’s rural nature could put the country at a severe disadvantage, but he believes collaborative working is the most pragmatic solution.

“Infrastructure builders and telecoms firms of all sizes need to get round a table – and be working alongside the Scottish Government to be able to overcome these unique challenges around 5G rollout,” he said.

“The Scottish Government’s Reaching 100 (R100) Scheme, which covers the whole of Scotland, is already delivering significantly better broadband infrastructure to rural parts of the country – even to places that didn’t have any connection before.

“But in order to introduce the newest and most effective 5G network, more infrastructure is needed across the whole of Scotland.

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“We should value the incredible work of community broadband initiatives, such as Lothian Broadband, which has been instrumental in facilitating fibre in remote locations.

He added: “5G is still very much in its infancy but by working together, we have a better chance of delivering the best possible connection in Scotland.”

Commsworld was established in 1994 and has been able to build on strong support from customers to meet high demand for fast internet speeds and centralised cloud services.

It has diversified from telephony into entire communications solutions for businesses and the public sector, with more than 100 staff in offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.