Out-Law News 1 min. read

5G potential for business highlighted in UK funding programme

The potential of '5G' technology to support innovation across sectors is demonstrated by the breadth of projects receiving UK government funding to trial the technology, a lawyer who has advised on the funding programme has said.

Nick Hutton of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, was commenting after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced the latest projects that had been successful in applying for funding through its '5G Create' competition.

Nick Hutton

Pinsent Masons

The real value from the trials will be derived from unlocking the commercially sustainable use cases

5G Create was established as an open call for 5G use cases, and provides successful applicants with public funds to support their testing of 5G technology. As well as demonstrating the capability of 5G technology, the programme should help identify 5G use cases that are commercially sustainable in the long-term.

In the latest funding round, more than £28 million was awarded to nine projects. Across the projects, the utility of 5G will be assessed in a range of settings, including for its potential to support autonomous transport around stadiums, improve event security through the use of 5G-connected drones, and enable fans to access high-definition video content on devices within sports arenas.

Trials will also be undertaken within the projects to assess the role for 5G in improving how construction processes are monitored, as well as in optimising predictive maintenance of port infrastructure and improving the traceability of goods passing through ports. Tests will also explore how 5G can support live-streaming by film makers in extreme locations, and provide for a more immersive remote experience of tourist attractions, sports events and the natural world through the use of augmented and virtual reality technology.

Hutton said: "The range of projects that are receiving government support through the 5G Create competition demonstrates the scope of possibilities that 5G technology can offer, but the real value from the trials will be derived from unlocking the commercially sustainable use cases. Private 5G networks are likely to be one such use case, due to the benefits of security, customisation and reliability."

Minister for digital infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: "5G is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives. The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic."

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