In 2019 the UK government launched a Rural Connected Communities competition, with a share of £35 million up for grabs. Nine different rural projects have been selected, and can now move forward with their trials, with £35 million backing them up.
And the government has now announced that it is putting a further £30 million towards more 5G trials, in a competition called 5G Create. These trials will focus on opportunities for 5G in film, TV, video games, logistics and tourism.
The 5G Create competition will open in March and close in June.
No “high-risk” vendors
All of these government-funded competitions are part of a £200 million investment in 5G trials across the UK.
“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,” said Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden. “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.”
The government also stated that no “high-risk” vendors would provide any of the equipment in winning projects/trials as part of the 5G Create funding. This is clearly in reference to concerns surrounding Huawei, which remains a controversial choice in 5G networks.
The government investment in both rural 5G and 5G in the entertainment industry is incredibly important. The live entertainment industry is set to grow exponentially thanks to the introduction of 5G. And rural areas could also fall behind if we can’t effectively provide 5G, therefore, this funding should offer a decent incentive for companies looking to do more with 5G technology in the UK.