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Could Jersey be the last country in Europe to get 5G? Navigating the Challenges and Controversies

Date: 29/05/2023

Stuart Watkins

As the world races towards a 5G future, Jersey, Channel Islands, seems stuck in the slow lane. Despite most European countries implementing 5G technology, Jersey has yet to join the ranks. Why is this the case? I have been using 5G for almost four years when I moved to Jersey last summer and running a digital business; I wanted to dig into the complexities behind this delay.

Why is Jersey Lagging Behind in 5G

The European 5G Landscape

Across Europe, the 5G revolution is well underway. 5G technology has been implemented from Austria to the United Kingdom, promising faster internet speeds, improved connectivity, and the capacity to support cutting-edge technologies like autonomous vehicles and smart cities. However, Jersey, a self-governing dependency of the UK, is conspicuously absent from this list.

Regulatory Hurdles in Jersey

Several regulatory challenges have hampered Jersey’s journey towards 5G. While the government has shown interest in 5G and is collaborating with local telecom providers to assess its feasibility, specific regulations or policies still need to be implemented. However, the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) has proactively addressed this issue. They have initiated a consultation process to establish a regulatory framework for licensing 5G technology, which is a significant step forward.

Technical Challenges and Limitations

Jersey’s existing telecommunications infrastructure may need to be equipped to support the high-speed, low-latency requirements of 5G. Significant investment may be required to upgrade the existing infrastructure or build new ones to support 5G networks. Furthermore, securing the necessary spectrum for 5G networks could involve regulatory restrictions and licensing requirements, adding another layer of complexity to the process.

Comparative Analysis: Lessons from Other Small Island Nations

Other small island nations have successfully navigated these challenges and implemented 5G. The Isle of Man, another British Crown dependency, has launched 5G networks. Our neighbours Guernsey have also run 5G trials. However, Guernsey’s experience serves as a cautionary tale, with telecom providers fined £3.4m for breaking competition law in their attempt to control the provision of mobile networks, including 5G.

Economic Implications of 5G in Jersey

The economic benefits of 5G in Jersey could be substantial. Improved connectivity could boost productivity and attract new businesses and investment. The tourism sector, a significant contributor to Jersey’s economy, could also benefit from enhanced visitor experiences enabled by 5G. Furthermore, 5G could revolutionize healthcare services, particularly for older people and those with mobility issues.

Public Sentiment and Health Concerns

Public sentiment towards 5G in Jersey has been mixed. Some residents have expressed health concerns, fearing that the radio waves used by 5G could cause health problems, including cancer. These concerns add another layer of complexity to Jersey’s 5G implementation process. These concerns must be addressed through public education about the safety of 5G technology.


Why is Jersey, Channel Islands lagging behind in 5G implementation?

Jersey is facing several challenges in implementing 5G technology. These include the lack of a specific regulatory framework for 5G, limited availability of spectrum necessary for wireless communication, and the need for significant infrastructure upgrades to support 5G networks.

How does Jersey’s 5G implementation compare to other European countries?

Most European countries have already implemented 5G technology, while Jersey is yet to do so. This delay is due to various regulatory and technical challenges that Jersey is currently working to address.

What are the potential economic benefits of implementing 5G technology in Jersey?

The potential economic benefits of implementing 5G in Jersey include improved connectivity leading to increased productivity, attraction of new businesses and investment, enhanced tourism experiences leading to increased revenue, and improved healthcare services.

What lessons can Jersey learn from other small island nations in terms of 5G implementation?

Other small island nations like the Isle of Man have successfully implemented 5G. However, it’s important to ensure fair competition and regulatory oversight in the process, as seen in the case of Guernsey where telecom providers were fined for breaking competition law.

What are the technical challenges that Jersey faces in implementing 5G?

Jersey’s current telecommunications infrastructure may not be capable of supporting the high-speed and low-latency requirements of 5G. Upgrading the existing infrastructure or building new ones to support 5G networks could require significant investment. Additionally, securing the necessary spectrum for 5G networks may involve regulatory restrictions and licensing requirements.


Jersey’s path to 5G is fraught with challenges, but the potential benefits make it a journey worth undertaking. Learning from the experiences of other small island nations, addressing regulatory and technical hurdles, and harnessing the economic potential of 5G are all crucial. Equally important is addressing public concerns about the health implications of 5G to ensure a smooth transition. The road to 5G may be long, but the destination promises to be transformative.

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