UK-based communications infrastructure company Arqiva is planning to undertake a trial of 5G services, according to the Financial Times. The company has revealed that it will partner with Samsung to test 5G fixed-wireless access technology in central London, though Arqiva’s chief executive Simon Beresford-Wylie said these 5G trials did not pre-empt a move into the consumer sector. Noting that mobile phone companies would be participating in the trials with Samsung, the executive was cited as saying: ‘We are not competing for their customers.’ Arqiva currently holds a national licence in the 28GHz spectrum band, which is the same frequency used for 5G trials in the US, South Korea and Japan, though slightly higher than the range proposed by local telecoms regulator Ofcom for commercial 5G services in the UK.
Arqiva’s trial plans have been welcomed by the British government, meanwhile, with culture secretary Karen Bradley saying: ‘The government wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G and we’re already laying the foundations for a successful launch … We are investing GBP1 billion [USD1.2 billion] to boost the UK’s digital infrastructure and support 5G trials, and will shortly be publishing our 5G strategy. But industry will continue to play the leading role, and investments like Arqiva’s will help make sure the UK gets the benefits of new 5G networks early on.’