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UK Government to inject £40m into 5G innovation

Written by Mon 31 Jul 2023

UK 5G Innovation Regions Logo

The UK Government has launched a £40 million fund for local and regional authorities to accelerate 5G innovation and drive digital connectivity. 

Successful applicants will be supported to adopt 5G and other advanced wireless technology. This is in line with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s goal to level up communities in the UK, grow the economy, and create better paid jobs through improved and secure digital infrastructure.

Initiatives including innovative healthcare solutions, futuristic farming, and smart systems to improve transport and cut congestion could be developed.

“Greater adoption of 5G-powered technologies will help deliver more efficient public services, new opportunities for residents and businesses, and a boost for economic growth,” said Sir John Whittingdale, Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure.

The £40 million fund will create 5G Innovation Regions for those that can demonstrate how they will drive the development and adoption of 5G and other technologies.

“5G Innovation Regions will be uniquely positioned to benefit from breaking down barriers which hinder the rollout of such technologies at a local level and this initiative offers every community the chance to gain these opportunities,” added Whittingdale.

Research shows widespread adoption of 5G could result in productivity benefits of £159 billion by 2035.

The Government envisioned 5G and advanced wireless technologies could boost local economies and improve the delivery of public services.

“Advanced wireless technologies will also be key to driving the government’s ambitions to harness digital transformation to build a more inclusive, competitive and innovative digital economy,” said Hamish MacLeod, Chief Executive of Mobile UK.

Working alongside the 5G Innovation Regions, the UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN) will also launch a nationwide campaign to accelerate the adoption of 5G in key sectors like transport and manufacturing. With support from telecoms providers and vendors, the campaign will look to educate businesses on the benefits of 5G-enabled services.

Running until March 2025, successful 5G Innovation Regions will be supported by Government through the DSIT Future Network Programmes team and UKTIN. Both authorities are set to help regions develop their own digital ecosystems, take advantage of new and emerging technologies, and amplify local and national activities. These activities include Project Gigabit, Investment Zones, and devolution deals to support local digital growth.

Applications will close on 10 September 2023. The winning applicants would be announced later this year.

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Written by Mon 31 Jul 2023

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