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UK.gov: Who wants £25m... *cheers*... to trial 5G? *crickets chirping*
If we start now, we might be better at it than Albania
The British government is looking for places to chuck £25m it has set aside for 5G trials.
Under the plans, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is asking interested parties across the UK to submit proposals for match-funded grants of up to £5m.
It reckons the technology will enable speeds of up to 10Gbps, citing rapid downloads and uploads in ultra HD and 3D video.
The money will come from the £740m from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).
Matt Hancock, minister for digital (not to be confused with the other minister for digital), said the government is "determined to be one of the first countries in the world to use 5G".
He added: "In these very early stages we want all ideas, from all parts of the country, that will help us get the technology and the rollout right to have a nationwide network of 5G innovators.
"It's all part of our determination to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business, and deliver for all citizens now and in the years to come."
The government had initially earmarked £16m for a test hub as part of its "5G strategy".
However, William Webb, former director of the regulator Ofcom and current CEO of the Weightless Special Interest Group, has warned that most of the £740m fund would would be better spent addressing 4G notspots. He has criticised the government for buying into the 5G hype.
The government's 5G strategy, published earlier this year (PDF), said that given the complexity of future 5G systems, it is not yet clear how and where 5G networks will be deployed. It said deployments will be part of a "wider ecosystem of wireless connectivity, building on investment in 4G networks". ®