In today’s 2017 Budget statement, Philip Hammond unveiled a new 5G internet investment strategy for the UK. In response, Cobham Wireless and Mimosa discuss below the necessary next steps for the UK, in order to capitalise on this investment opportunity.
Dr Li-Ke Huang, 5G Research & Technology, Cobham Wireless: “The government’s plans to invest in 5G technology are vital in order for the UK to retain its position as a digital leader in Europe. It promises to deliver the quality of mobile internet experience that businesses and consumers are demanding, and will also open up opportunities for a truly connected society, powered by new applications such as machine-to-machine technology, connected cars and smart cities. 5G can also help fix the various ‘not spots’ across the country, such as commuter rail lines and large parts of rural Britain, which are lacking sufficient connectivity and hindering the growth of the wider UK economy.
“Research and development centres in the UK are already actively involved in validating core 5G technologies and testing their performance – but we need continual investment to support its evolution, looking at everything from chipsets to network performance. The proposed government investment will help position the UK as a leader in 5G R&D, and provide the nation with a head start in the consequent race to bring the benefits of this technology to consumers and businesses.”
Jaime Fink, Co-Founder & CPO, Mimosa Networks: “The government has committed to investment in a 5G future, which will be vital in order to support the increasing demand for high-speed internet applications. Telecoms service providers and R&D centres across the UK will now be exploring how they can commercialise the technology as rapidly and efficiently as possible.
“In the US, operators such as Verizon have plans to trial 5G in live networks this year. These tests suggest that whereas 4G was a mobile play, 5G will initially be deployed using fixed wireless broadband technology. This is because it provides high-performance connectivity that can be established rapidly, at a low price point. It is likely to become the preferred internet delivery alternative to costly fibre-to-the-home.
"In order to keep pace with 5G trials and tests across the globe, the UK must also recognise fixed wireless as the most effective and efficient means of 5G delivery. The government investment and a focused programme for 5G development will enable the creation of an efficient digital infrastructure across the nation.”