Isle of Man to build 5G data network

10 November 2014 |

The Isle of Man is making moves to become the first in the world to launch a 5G data network, according to local reports.

Situated between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, the Isle of Man is governed by the British Crown dependency and has said that a new technology university on the island, as well as favourable regulation and existing infrastructure places it ahead of many in the 5G race.

The International Centre for Technology is due to open in mid-2015 by the Manx Educational Foundation (MEF) – part of Manx Telecom on the island – also in collaboration with HP and Huawei.

The campus is expected to be used for 5G testing as early as 2016.

“The Isle of Man as a whole was used as a test bed for 3G by O2 and hence became the second nation in the world to go live with this technology,” said Kurt Roosen, co-founder of the MEF.

“With the 40 acre site, a body of innovative students looking at the potential of mobile, fairly open spectrum that the local regulator would actively encourage to be used for testing, and the involvement of Huawei, we do hope that we can create something of the Perfect Storm.”

However, the Isle of Man is not the only one making such claims and many others are also pushing ahead with 5G development.

In July 2014, Chinese vendor ZTE revealed its 5G roadmap; Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless said it was testing 5G technologies in June, and in October, leader in next-generation technology SK Telekom signed a partnership with Samsung for 5G network research in South Korea.