UK targets 5G growth

11 March 2014 | Kavit Majithia


Policymakers in the UK have identified an opportunity to leapfrog ahead of 4G and herald 5G connectivity in the market to create economic opportunities.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed yesterday that the UK would work with Germany to develop 5G technologies quicker, with Cameron stating that the government is aiming to double the economic benefits of spectrum to £100 billion by 2025.

UK and German universities are set to work together to develop the technologies, with the government setting out a plan to maximise the use of blocks of airwaves to carry 5G.

4G spectrum raised approximately $2.4 billion for the treasury last year, and the UK is now planning to create a second “digital dividend” by selling 5G spectrum to telecoms groups.

Cameron said the UK was committed to allowing new applications to come online, with “new kinds of mobile technologies to be used, more data usage to be enjoyed and greater broadcasting services to be made available”.

It is thought Cameron’s speech and the UK’s strategy reflects wider European concerns to address the growing gap in technology between the continent and Asia, with China now owning more mobile masts for 4G technology than the whole of Europe combined.

The European Commission has already made €700 million available for 5G research.