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UK to unlock 5G potential with £65m funding pot

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden announced today (Feb 20) £65m worth of government funded trials across the country to unlock the potential of 5G and level up infrastructure in rural areas.

The potential of modern technology is set to boost rural areas in the UK, as nine winning projects share £35m from the governments rural and industrial 5G competitions.

 In addition to this, a new £30m open competition, 5G Create, will look to explore how 5G can create new opportunities in industries such as film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism.

As part of this, visitors to Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire will see their experience transformed by cutting-edge technology allowing Robin Hood to tell his own story of the medieval forest through virtual and augmented reality on 5G networks.

The forest itself will also benefit from the trails of robotic environmental management and live monitoring its condition to preserve the site for years to come.

Other 5G trials will also be funded such as air and sea search and rescue in Dorset, which will use terrestrial and satellite connectivity.

Crop growth in rural farms will be tracked by 5G connectivity and livestock will be monitored as well as using the technology to reduce water pollution.

The trials that will come from today’s funding will help to spread the benefits of technology across the UK allowing the potential of 5G networks to be realised ahead of other countries.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“We’re determined to make the UK a world-leader in 5G and deliver on our promise to improve connections for people and businesses across the country.

“Today we’re announcing new funding to seize the new opportunities this technology will offer us.

“This includes seeing how it could create new jobs in the countryside, make businesses more productive and unleash even more ideas in our cutting-edge creative industries.”

It forms part of the governments £200m investment in UK trials to explore how 5G can boost business growth and productivity, support rural areas and maximise productivity. The trials are underpinned by the government’s ambition to diversify the supply chain for digital infrastructure.


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