Prime minister David Cameron has touted the importance of 4G networks to ensure the UK's population can access the internet and take advantage of the benefits universal web access offers.
Cameron acknowledged that the UK is some way behind other nations for 4G access, including the US and several European nations, and said the government was committed to ensuring the auctions go through at the end of this year as planned.
"We will press ahead urgently with the auction of 4G spectrum so private companies can invest and get the network set up, while including tough new conditions so that it covers 99 per cent of the population," he said.
"In the meantime this will significantly reduce mobile signal black holes by 2015 - a major boost to economic productivity."
Cameron also revealed that the government is planning to announce a number of cities that it will be ensuring have universal access to high-speed broadband services.
"This week the chancellor [George Osborne] will be announcing 10 super-connected cities, which will have universal access to ultra-fast 100Mbit/s broadband, making them some of the fastest and best connected cities in the world," he said.
V3 contacted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), responsible for the UK's digital development, to ask for more information and was told the successful cities will be revealed in the budget on Wednesday.
Ofcom recently announced its intention to give Everything Everywhere the go-ahead to run a 4G service on its existing 1800MHz spectrum, subject to a one-month consultation with industry, in order to help the UK push ahead with 4G access.
Cameron added that ensuring universal broadband is in place by 2015 remains a key priority for the government in order to try and keep pace with market leaders such as South Korea and Japan.
"While 99 per cent of our population have access to the last decade's standards of broadband, the market alone will deliver the next generation of broadband to only two-thirds of the country," he said.
"So we are working with the private sector to ensure 90 per cent of properties have access to high-speed broadband by 2015 and that the remaining 10 per cent of hard-to-reach properties can at least access functional broadband of 2Mbit/s."
The importance of good internet access was underlined on Monday when a report by analyst house Boston Consulting Group said the internet is worth £121bn to the UK economy.
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