In an attempt to ensure the UK will be first to benefit from reliable 5G, the government has launched a £25 million competition to reward ideas on how the technology could be used to boost the economy.
According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme will deliver projects in phases, starting with an initial competition for phase 1 projects.
These projects will receive funding from April 2018 and will last for 12 months. However, the government said that it is also willing to consider a larger scale project with an extended delivery period.
The government explained that the aim of the competition is to support the development of a ‘5G ecosystem’ in the UK, as well as to contribute towards the delivery of the objectives in the country’s 5G strategy. This will be achieved by supporting technology and deployment trials to stimulate the development of 5G use cases and business models.
Projects will explore the potential for 5G to deliver benefits for businesses, create new 5G applications and services, develop and explore new business models around key 5G technologies, and help to reduce the commercial risks associated with investment in 5G.
Minister of state for digital Matt Hancock said: “The UK is at the forefront of the global adoption of 5G. The 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme will harness the power of fast changing technology and further the UK’s leadership.
“It will make use of areas where the UK has a competitive advantage, such as our strengths in scientific research, engineering talent, and rich ecosystem of relevant technology companies, both large and small.”