The UK government has announced it will invest £40m (€45.01m) in trials and testbed projects ahead of widespread UK 5G rollout.
Investment will be focused on the industrial manufacturing and logistics sectors, after the success of similar funding deployments in broadcasting, healthcare, travel and tourism. Recipient bodies will be able to use the funding in trials using 5G connectivity in manufacturing processes, as well as freight-based logistics projects on land, sea and in the air, to improve their productivity and economic profiles.
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.”
The funding, announced by Wright at London Tech Week’s 5G World Conference, will be drawn from a £200m (€225.18m) fund for testing UK 5G rollout as part of the government’s digital connectivity development strategy. The government will also participate in consultations over proposals to streamline planning processes for 5G implementation and wider rollout of 4G connectivity across the UK.
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.”