Govt sets out 5G strategy

Govt sets out 5G strategy [Image: Starcevic via iStock]

The government has set out its strategy outlining its ambition to become a world leader in 5G and the steps it will take to achieve this aim.

In its ‘Next Generation Mobile Technologies: A 5G Strategy for the UK’ policy paper, the government highlights the key themes that will determine our progress towards 5G.

These include building the economic case, fit for purpose regulations, local areas – governance and capability, coverage and capacity – convergence and the road to 5G, ensuring a safe and secure deployment of 5G, spectrum and technology and standards.

In the foreword for the report, MP Karen Bradley and commercial secretary to the Treasury Lucy Neville-Rolfe explain that for the economy to work for everyone, the UK must be a “global leader in the next generation of mobile technologies and digital communications”.

They added they want to enjoy the benefits of new 5G networks early: faster, more reliable connections; new, valuable services from connected cars to smart factories; and more high-paid, high-skilled jobs.

However, they added that this is only possible with private sector investment in new networks and innovative service providers.

They said that the government is “acting now” to provide excellent connectivity for consumers across the UK and added that they have made it easier to install mobile base stations. They said that they are overhauling the Electronic Communications Code to lower the cost of infrastructure deployment and clearing vital new spectrum for 5G use.

The government’s strategy is intended to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks, maximise the productivity and efficiency benefits to the UK from 5G, and create new opportunities for UK businesses at home and abroad as well as encourage inward investment.

According to the report, the government is already taking action to drive the deployment of fibre, pointing to the £1.1 billion of a proportion of the new investment announced in the Autumn Statement of 2016.

A further £200 million will fund a programme of local projects to test ways to accelerate market delivery, and the government will use £400 million to establish a new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, to provide developers with greater access to commercial finance.