Digital infrastructure5G & MobileGovernment plans to improve 5G connectivity

Government plans to improve 5G connectivity

The Government has undertaken a thorough, evidence-based and hard-headed review of the 5G connectivity to ensure the secure and resilient roll-out of 5G

The UK government is set to boost 5G connectivity with a £40 million investment for 5G testbed and trial projects, as 5G technologies are set to transform all areas of our lives, from the economy to healthcare and tourism.

The funding was announced by Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright at the 5G World Conference as part of London Tech Week. The latest round of investment is through the £200 million project to test 5G technology that’s up to ten times faster than 4G and able to support more than a million devices per square kilometre.

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re making sure that Britain has a telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.

“5G is about more than mobile phone consumers having a fast and reliable connection anywhere in the country. It’s a vital piece of technology that can be used to improve the productivity and growth of our industrial sectors. That’s why we’re excited to develop new trials in areas such as manufacturing and logistics that can really benefit from 5G.”

Simplifying planning processes

In addition to the new funding, the Government has confirmed that it will consult on proposals to simplify planning processes in England to both support the further roll-out of 4G and aid the faster introduction of 5G connectivity.

Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, said: “Getting the planning system right for future 5G and today’s 4G networks is critical to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in digital connectivity. It is right that the Government has announced it is to look at simplifying planning processes and we stand ready to work in partnership to ensure this can happen as quickly as possible to aid the continued rollout of mobile networks.”

Delivering better network coverage

This is part of the Government’s long-term strategy for meeting its digital connectivity targets, outlined in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review.

The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), announced as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, proposed the changes that are needed to give the majority of the population access to 5G, connecting 15 million premises to full fibre broadband by 2025, and providing full fibre broadband coverage across all of the UK by 2033. Full fibre infrastructure is vital to underpin 5G coverage.

The plans involved tackling barriers to deployment and creating the right conditions for investment to deliver better network coverage that supports the way we live and work today.

New spectrum for 5G connectivity

Previous investment in the 5G testbeds and trials programme has driven work in the healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. The latest investment will support similar work in the logistics and manufacturing sectors. These projects will trial ways which can help these sectors increase their productivity and output, boosting the UK economy. The trials could cover different manufacturing processes as well as across road, air, and sea based freight logistics.

A key part of this is making new spectrum available to increase capacity for mobile connectivity. The Ministry of Defence, in partnership with DCMS, has committed to making 168MHz of new spectrum available to facilitate the deployment of fixed and mobile networks.

This means the Government has already exceeded its target to make 500MHz of public sector spectrum available for commercial use by 2020, and will continue to work with departments to explore opportunities for more spectrum to be made available.

The Liverpool 5G consortium had received £3.5 million from DCMS to fund 11 testbeds and trials that focused on providing reliable broadband to communities around parts of Liverpool with limited access.

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