New £65m package for national 5G trials

Funding | National | Technology

Rural areas will benefit from a series of government-funded trials to help them seize the potential of modern technology, the Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden announced today.

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

Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire will see cutting-edge apps transform the visitor experience, with Robin Hood telling the history of the medieval forest via virtual and augmented reality on 5G networks. New robotic environmental management will also be tested alongside live monitoring of the health of Sherwood Forest to preserve the site for future generations.

Funding will also go to 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.

These new trials will help spread the benefits of technology across the country and allow the UK to grasp an early advantage by using the new applications 5G networks can enable.

This forms part of our £200m investment in testbeds and trials across the UK to explore new ways that 5G can boost business growth and productivity, improve the lives of people in rural areas and maximise the productivity benefits of new technologies. Our innovative trials will also support the Government’s ambition to diversify the supply chain for digital infrastructure in the UK, a key recommendation from the Supply Chain Review.

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.”

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