This article was originally published on Mobile World Live.
The UK government pledged a £30 million investment to boost access to 5G technology in rural parts of the country, a move it hopes will spark a “tech revolution”.
In a statement, Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said up to 10 locations in the rural UK will be chosen to run innovative trials of 5G applications, with the aim of ensuring the “whole country can grasp the opportunities and economic benefits of next-generation 5G technology”.
The latest funding is part of a £200 million project that aims to develop 5G testbeds in the UK.
The government statement pointed to 5G deployments already in place in certain rural locations, including the Orkney Islands which is remotely monitoring fisheries and improving efficiency of wind farms.
“In modern Britain people expect to be connected wherever they are. And so we’re committed to securing widespread mobile coverage and must make sure we have the right planning laws to give the UK the best infrastructure to stay ahead,” said Morgan.
In addition to the funding announcement, the government also launched a consultation on proposals which aim to simplify rules to improve rural mobile coverage.
The government has declared it wants to reform planning laws for mobile infrastructure, as a way to ensure the entire country can benefit from next-generation technology.
The consultation will look at a number of proposals including: changing the permitted height of new mobile masts, promotion of mast sharing and the deployment of radio equipment cabinets on land without prior approval.