UK pumps £25M into specialist 5G schemes

The UK government is set to invest £25 million across six 5G projects as it pursues an aim of being a “world leader” in businesses based around the new technology.


Each project will receive between £2 million and £5 million in grants and will also be part funded by private companies. The six programmes have a remit to explore 5G rollout or applications deemed beneficial to the country, including smart farming with drones, IoT applications for healthcare in the home, and new manufacturing technology.

Margot James, UK minister of state for Digital and the Creative industries, said: “The ground-breaking projects announced today will help to unlock 5G and ensure the benefits of this new technology are felt across the economy and wider society.”

The six chosen projects are: rural initiatives the 5G RuralFirst Partnership and 5G Rural Integrated Testbed; 5G Smart Tourism – centred on the leisure industry; trial and testbed group the Worcestershire 5G Consortium; public sector research group Liverpool 5G Testbed; and AutoAir: 5G Testbed for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

Digital strategy
The funding is part of the UK’s wide-reaching digital strategy, announced by the government in March 2017. The plan includes an aim to generate £1 billion in private and public sector funds to accelerate deployment of next generation digital infrastructure, and create new business opportunities based around 5G.

The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the progress made so far on its strategy had ensured the country remaing “the number one location for tech investment in Europe.”

Despite the new investment and ongoing schemes, gaining a global leadership in 5G technologies will prove a tough task, with other countries making rapid progress towards developing and harnessing the technology.

Several operators and regulators around the world are projecting 5G launches in 2018 or 2019, with tough competition even within Europe as countries across the continent talk-up their prospects.

Source: Mobile World Live