The UK Government is investing more in 5G test projects and is consulting on proposals to make it easier to deploy 5G infrastructure.
Existing 5G testbeds are focused on the healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. The latest investment of £40m – part of a £200m fund to test 5G technology – expands the scope to include logistics and manufacturing.
In particular, the money will be used to trial ways in which these sectors can boost their productivity and output.
“5G is about more than mobile phone consumers having a fast and reliable connection anywhere in the country,” said Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright. “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.”
Meanwhile, to support the further rollout of 4G and the introduction of 5G, the Government is proposing to make it easier for mobile operators to obtain planning permission to build and upgrade sites.
This move was welcomed by Hamish MacLeod, director at Mobile UK, which represents the UK’s mobile operators.
“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,” he said. “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.”
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