DCMS confirms GBP65m in funding for 5G trials

20 Feb 2020

A GBP65 million (USD84 million) funding package for 5G trials has been announced by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). In a press release regarding the matter, the government body said that it expected rural areas to benefit from a series of government-funded trials designed to ‘help them seize the potential of modern technology’. A total of nine projects across the country will receive a share of a GBP35 million pot from the DCMS’s rural and industrial 5G competitions, while a further GBP30 million open competition, dubbed ‘5G Create’, will look at how 5G can create new opportunities in industries including film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism.

Specifically, the DCMS said that the GBP30 million coming from the Rural Connected Communities (RCC) competition is being allocated to a total of seven 5G R&D projects across the UK. These include five in England, one in Wales and one in Scotland, with plans to expand into Northern Ireland. Test sites are expected to be set up in Yorkshire, Gwent, Monmouthshire, Orkney, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Dorset, Shropshire and Worcestershire, it noted. Meanwhile, more than GBP5 million of funding is being 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.

Oliver Dowden, the UK’s Digital Secretary, said of the matter: ‘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.’