The latest Connected Nations report for Wales shows that, over the past year:
- The UK’s fixed and mobile networks have generally coped well despite the increased demands placed on them by Covid-19. A shift to more people being at home more drove increased demand on broadband networks during the day, although the peak remained in the evening. Mobile networks also experienced increases in voice traffic.
- 19% (265,400) of homes in Wales have access to full-fibre connections – an increase of 7 % points since 2019 and higher than the UK average.265,400 homes have access to a gigabit-capable broadband connection– able to deliver download speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s as well as faster upload speeds, and are more reliable than older broadband technologies. Of these, 60,205 are in rural areas.
- Superfast broadband coverage has increased to 94% of homes up from 93% last year.
- The number of premises without access to at least decent broadband remains small. Factoring in coverage from both fixed and fixed-wireless networks, we estimate that around 18,000 premises are still without a decent broadband connection and may be eligible to receive one under the universal broadband service.
- The number of mobile base stations providing 5G services has risen ten-fold, to around 3,000 across the UK. Just over 8% of urban mobile sites have been upgraded to include a 5G service. 3% of 5G sites are located in Wales and another 3% in Northern Ireland, with 7% in Scotland and 87% in England. This split broadly reflects the national distribution of all mobile traffic across the UK.
- Mobile coverage is generally stable. 90% of Wales has access to good 4G geographic coverage from at least one of the mobile operators and 60% has coverage from all 4 operators.
- Voice and text services from all four operators are available across 78% of Wales’ landmass. Voice and text total notspots account for 5% of Wales’ landmass. The Shared Rural Network programme agreed in March 2020 will extend coverage beyond this by 2025.
- We estimate that 0.6% (9,000) of premises cannot access either a decent fixed broadband service or get good 4G coverage indoors, with almost all of these in rural areas.
Connected Nations 2020: Wales (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Cysylltu'r Gwledydd 2020: Adroddiad Cymru (PDF, 2.5 MB)