Liverpool may lose billions of pounds and thousands of jobs if there is a delay to the roll-out of 5G in the city, a report claims.

The report created by independent analyst firm Assembly suggests the city risks losing out on an economic boost of £3bn between 2020-2030 and 10,810 new jobs predicted to be gained through 5G technologies.

It also claims that any delay to ‘levelling up’ to 5G would increase the digital divide, condemning parts of Britain to “the slow lane” for years to come.

The report, published today, claims the UK as a whole risks not fully realising £108bn of economic benefit and the creation of 350,000 jobs in regions outside London and the South East over the next decade.

The report was commissioned by Huawei, the company originally chosen to provide the equipment for the UK’s 5G network.

That was until July this year when the UK government said it would remove all of Huawei’s technology from the network by 2027 over security fears raised after a technical review of the Chinese company in light of US sanctions.

The delay caused by the government’s decision not to use Huawei technology, the report suggests, would mean consumers will have to wait longer to enjoy “the full benefits of next-generation connectivity on their devices – such as virtual reality video streaming, gaming and the delivery of on-demand content.”

The report also warns about the effects any delay would have on industry saying it would slow advances in everything from “next-generation remote healthcare and smart manufacturing, to robotics and at-home schooling.”

Matthew Howett, Principal Analyst and Founder of data analysts Assembly who compiled the report, said: “The Government’s own expectation of its restrictions on Huawei is for up to a three year delay in 5G roll-out.

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“The risk of course is that this will be felt by operator’s being forced to focus their deployments in more profitable urban centres and that would inevitably mean it takes longer to reach, and fully cover, more rural and remote parts of Britain with 5G. If this plays out there is a risk of a widened digital divide.”

This sentiment was echoed by Victor Zhang, Vice President of ousted technology company Huawei, who said: “[The] UK government has set ambitious targets for improved connectivity by 2025.

“This research reveals how a 3-year delay in 5G roll-out will have a significant economic impact on every part of the UK, and highlights the consequences of failing to realise Britain’s full potential.

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“Without global 5G leadership, Britain faces relegation to the digital slow lane, a job creation black hole and a wider digital divide.”

In July 2020, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons of the decision to remove Huawei’s technology from the UK’s 5G network by 2027.

According to the BBC, Mr Dowden said the decision to remove the company’s equipment could cost up to £2bn, and a total delay to 5G rollout of "two to three years".

Adding: "This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run”.