When will 5G be launched? Government launches competition to make UK a telecoms technology trailblazer

Oliver Gill
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Ministers said the 5G competition was part of a wider government investment in Britain's internet infrastructure (Source: Getty)

The government will today launch a competition to help spearhead the roll-out of 5G mobile technology.

Some £25m of matched funding is being made available to help firms develop 5G under a programme called "5G Testbeds and Trials".

Fifth generation, or 5G, mobile coverage is seen by experts as being pivotal to the development of driverless cars and other Internet of Things smart device technologies.

Digital minister Matt Hancock said:

To stay competitive we must be at the cutting edge of new technology and we are determined to be one of the first countries in the world to use 5G.

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.

Read more: A lot of the world's mobile firms reckon they'll be rolling out 5G in 2018

Last week, around a quarter of the world's mobile firms said they expect to be rolling out 5G technology next year.

The competition is part of a £740m national productivity investment fund set up by ministers to support the next generation of digital infrastructure, including 5G and full fibre broadband.

The boost to 5G comes on the back of the announcement that by the end of this year a government investment of £1.7bn will have supported the rollout of superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the UK.

Treasury minister Andrew Jones said: “Improving productivity requires targeted and sustained investment, which is why we are backing the UK’s digital infrastructure with over a billion pounds of government funding. Whether we are doing business online or the weekly grocery shop online, strong and reliable connections are crucial to this.

“Today’s announcement is a big step forward in bringing 5G to the UK and ensuring our digital infrastructure is fit for the future.”

Read more: Ofcom clamps down on BT and EE dominance by capping 5G allowances

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