Technology / Hammond to earmark £1.1bn to expand UK’s 5g network

Hammond to earmark £1.1bn to expand UK’s 5g network

The UK government has set out a 5G strategy to improve the country’s mobile network, with Chancellor Philip Hammond planning to invest £1.1billion in the next generation of digital infrastructure as part of the 2017 Spring budget.

According to an HM Treasury report, 5G will open the doors “to potentially revolutionary technologies such as automated cars and advanced manufacturing, as well as enabling the many thousands of connected devices, such as smart energy meters, that are predicted to enter our everyday world as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Starting in 2017, the government will invest £200million to fund a programme of local projects to test ways to accelerate market delivery of new full-fibre broadband networks. This programme will make better connections available to business and residential premises across the UK and help to deliver fibre connections that will support 5G.”

Jaime Fink, co-founder and CPO of Mimosa Networks, said: “The government has committed to investment in a 5G future, which will be vital in order to support the increasing demand for high-speed internet applications. Telecoms service providers and R&D centres across the UK will now be exploring how they can commercialise the technology as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

“In the US, operators such as Verizon have plans to trial 5G in live networks this year. These tests suggest that whereas 4G was a mobile play, 5G will initially be deployed using fixed wireless broadband technology. This is because it provides high-performance connectivity that can be established rapidly, at a low price point. It is likely to become the preferred internet delivery alternative to costly fibre-to-the-home.

“In order to keep pace with 5G trials and tests across the globe, the UK must also recognise fixed wireless as the most effective and efficient means of 5G delivery. The government investment and a focused programme for 5G development will enable the creation of an efficient digital infrastructure across the nation.”

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