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UK government to invest £40mn in 5G trials for manufacturing industry

The project will aim to discover the ways 5G can increase productivity and output in manufacturing and logistics

The UK government has announced it is to invest £40mn (US$50.5mn) in 5G testbed and trial projects for UK industry.

Previous trials have been in the healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. The project will aim to discover the ways 5G can increase productivity and output in manufacturing and logistics, with an eye on improving the UK economy. 5G is up to 10 times faster than 4G, supporting more than 1mn devices per square kilometre.

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re making sure that Britain has a telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. 5G is about more than mobile phone consumers having a fast and reliable connection anywhere in the country. It’s a vital piece of technology that can be used to improve the productivity and growth of our industrial sectors. That’s why we’re excited to develop new trials in areas such as manufacturing and logistics that can really benefit from 5G.”

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The government said in its 12 June press release that it would also be considering proposals to make the planning process for 4G and 5G rollout.

“Getting the planning system right for future 5G and today’s 4G networks is critical to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in digital connectivity,” said Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK. “It is right that the Government has announced it is to look at simplifying planning processes and we stand ready to work in partnership to ensure this can happen as quickly as possible to aid the continued rollout of mobile networks.”

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