Leaders of technology, media and telecoms (TMT) businesses across the North West are confident that greater business, transport and technology connections will drive the region’s TMT ecosystem forward in 2019.

Deloitte’s TMT Leaders Panel, which consists of business leaders in the sector across the North West, unanimously agreed that the launch of direct flights from Manchester Airport to Mumbai, San Francisco and Hong Kong will positively impact TMT businesses in the North West.

With Amazon set to create 600 jobs with a new Manchester office, its first office outside of London, the leaders also fully agreed that this – along with office openings scheduled by Booking.com, GCHQ and TalkTalk – will help to strengthen the TMT ecosystem throughout the North West.

90% of the panel also agreed that EE’s plans to roll out 5G connectivity across Manchester and Liverpool, which are amongst the first cities to be trialling 5G in 2019, will enable TMT businesses in the region to better service their customers.

Paul Shannon, CEO at ANS Group said: “As one of the first areas to be trialling 5G in the country, the North West has an unparalleled opportunity to hit the ground running and showcase the best possible use of this technology, accelerating the region’s economy and creating an even more agile environment for TMT businesses.

“The North West’s TMT sector has always thrived thanks to its pioneering use of technology and with greater access to transport, talent and technology, the industry will continue to flourish.”

Claire Jolly, head of TMT at Deloitte in the North West said: “It comes as no surprise that increased connectivity is invigorating the North West’s TMT sector. With transport, business and technology links receiving an enormous boost, the potential for growth and development within the industry couldn’t be higher.

“We’ve recently predicted 5G connectivity is set to be amongst the most cutting-edge technology trends to shake up the region in 2019, and business leaders across the North West agree that the new technology will be set to re-invigorate the region’s TMT industry. With Manchester Airport recently announced as the UK’s first 5G connected airport, the region is already seeing the impact that this technology is set to make. It is an exciting time to be part of the sector.”