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The missing piece: how 5G can help Britain solve its productivity puzzle

In a vote of confidence for flexible working, UK efficiency has actually risen since Covid hit – so having a world-class internet network is now more vital than ever. Richard Fernsby crunches the numbers

Illustration: Selman Hosgor/Studio PI for Bridge Studio

“If the UK wants to be a world leader in innovation, to close the divide between the north and the south and improve its productivity, the country has got to have world-class infrastructure,” says Victor Zhang, vice-president of Huawei.

“Mobile networks are a key part of that – and the next few years will be hugely important for the rollout of 5G.” Any country that falls behind will find it difficult to catch up, he adds. The rollout comes at an interesting time for the UK, especially in terms of productivity.