Government Announces Plans To Roll Out 5G In Rural Areas

27 August 2019, 16:11

The government has announced plans to roll out 5G across rural areas of the UK
The government has announced plans to roll out 5G across rural areas of the UK. Picture: PA

The government has announced a competition for rural areas to be the first to get 5G technology.

Up to ten rural communities will be selected to take part in the £30 million UK trial which is set to last for two years.

It is hoped 5G will offer mobile speeds up to 10 times faster than the current 4G network, making it even faster than home fibre broadband.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said she hopes the Rural Connected Communities competition will spark a technological revolution in countryside communities.

She added: "The British countryside has always been a hotbed of pioneering industries and we’re making sure our rural communities aren’t left behind in the digital age.

"We’re investing millions so the whole country can grasp the opportunities and economic benefits of next generation 5G technology.

"In modern Britain people expect to be connected wherever they are.

"And so we’re committed to securing widespread mobile coverage and must make sure we have the right planning laws to give the UK the best infrastructure to stay ahead."

The Orkney Islands are already trialing 5G for salmon fishing
The Orkney Islands are already trialing 5G for salmon fishing. Picture: PA

5G networks have already begun to launch across parts of the country, with several mobile operators switching on their networks in a number of cities.

The technology is also being used in the Orkney Islands to remotely monitor salmon fisheries and improve the efficiency of wind farms.

Shropshire is also taking advantage of 5G, where it is being used in farming for targeted crop spraying and soil analysis.

EE was first to launch its 5G network - at the end of May - in six cities: London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester, with more to follow before the end of the year and into 2020.

Vodafone switched on 5G in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London on July 3.

Three began turning on its 5G network in August, while O2 said it will also launch at some point this year.

However, the process will be a gradual roll-out, meaning 5G will not be widely available everywhere for some years to come.