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.
Additionally, the Government has also confirmed that it will consult on proposals to simplify planning processes in England to support the further roll out of 4G and assist the faster introduction of 5G.
This is part of the Government’s long-term strategy for meeting its digital connectivity targets, outlined in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review.
The 5G testbeds and trials programme over the last few years have looked at exploring the benefits and challenges of deploying 5G technology and infrastructure in the UK through a range of geographic and vertical markets such as healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. The latest investment will support similar work in the logistics and manufacturing sectors. The trials have also looked at creating new opportunities for businesses, developing capability and skills and encouraging investment.
With the success of these trials so far, DCMS announced further funding and extensions to the testbeds this year.
Government has also included in their 5G project the Urban Connected Communities Project, that will help develop a large scale 5G pilot across the region, with hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.
techUK welcomes the ongoing support by the Government to help ensure the UK is a 5G leader. In particular we welcome the new funding announced today to explore the opportunities offered by 5G to business, and also the initiative to simplify the planning processes in England to speed up introduction of the latest mobile technologies, something which techUK has been working on with local authorities for several years, most recently hosting an event with the Greater London Authority on Tuesday in support of the London Plan.