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techUK welcomes Interim Report: UK Strategy and Plan for 5G & Digitisation

Government asked Future Communications Challenge Group to provide advice on what the UK should do to be a world leader in 5G.

The Government asked the Future Communications Challenge Group (FCCG), comprised of senior academics, industry experts and investors, to provide advice on what the UK should do to be a world leader in 5G. The Government has yesterday published the Future Communications Challenge Group Interim Report: UK strategy and plan for 5G & Digitisation.

Julian McGougan, techUK's Head of Technology commented on the report: “The FCCG report on 5G is timely following the funding for trials of 5G and fibre announced in the Autumn Statement.

“techUK agrees that 5G will be much more than just a successor to 4G, it is being developed as a “system of systems” offering seamless connectivity, and addressing a wide range of types of demand.

“It is hard to overestimate the potential economic benefit of rapid, and widespread, availability of 5G, where (as the FCCG has stated) the UK has the potential to be the European leader.

“That will require trials and test beds for which Ofcom should make available suitable spectrum, preferably in a more flexible manner than the current non-operational licences. We welcome the Recommendation that long term strategies for UK spectrum should be agreed with the UK Spectrum Policy Forum.

“It will also require much greater coverage for roads and rail than 4G offers now. This is where the public sector has a key role to play in enabling access to assets operated by Highways England, Network Rail and TfL.

“techUK also very much supports the recognition that being a 5G leader requires quick, predictable access by mobile operators to fibre-enabled sites for masts. This requires a more consistent approach to securing planning permission, and for the public and private sectors to collaborate more closely. I am delighted to say that techUK is already working towards this collaborative approach with representatives of both sectors.”

In the Autumn Statement the Government announced £1 billion of additional funding to boost the UK’s digital infrastructure, including significant funding for 5G and integrated fibre trials. The Government will set out further details on the approach it will be taking at Budget 2017, as part of a new 5G strategy.

The BSG, techUK and INCA invite you to join us on Thursday 12 January event "Autumn Statement proposals for greater connectivity" to hear from officials from the Treasury and DCMS, and to participate in a discussion on the framing and next steps on the initiative. More information on the funding strands is available.


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