February 20, 2020

The Government announces new £65m package to unlock the potential of 5G


The Digital Secretary, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP, has announced a new £65 million package which it hopes will unlock the potential of 5G. The new package seeks to benefit rural areas by funding a series of government-funded trials to help them adapt to and seize the potential of 5G technology.

Nine projects across the country will receive a share of £35 million from the rural and industrial 5G competitions, and a new £30 million open competition - 5G Create - will look at how 5G can create new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism.

One of the trials will help to fund 5G trials in air and sea search and rescue in Dorset to help save lives using terrestrial and satellite connectivity. This project will also trial 5G connectivity for remote farms to track crop growth, monitor livestock and reduce water pollution using 5G.

The £65 million package announced today includes:

- £30 million for the Rural Connected Communities (RCC) competition for seven 5G research and development projects across the UK. This includes five in England, one in Wales and one in Scotland with plans to expand into Northern Ireland. Test sites will be set up in Yorkshire, Gwent,Monmouthshire, Orkney, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Dorset, Shropshire and Worcestershire.

- More than £5 million of funding will be awarded to two industrial projects, led by Ford Motor Company and Zeetta Networks, to test the benefits of using 5G to boost productivity in the manufacturing sector.

- A new £30 million open competition - 5G Create - has been launched to develop new uses for 5G in a variety of industries, including the creative sectors such as film, TV and video games. From enabling remote production to supporting the expansion of the increasingly popular world of e-sports, 5G has the potential to revolutionise the UK’s booming creative industries.

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