Saturday, 30 May 2020

UK’s £30m 5G honeypot seeks to spark innovation

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 09 April 20

A scheme by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will allow entrants to bid for funding based on their 5G use cases

The DCMS is currently running a £30 million scheme known as the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT), in which innovators can apply for funding for their 5G use cases.   The UK-based entrants can apply for anywhere from £250,000 to £5 million to support their 5G projects…

The DCMS is currently running a £30 million scheme known as the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT), in which innovators can apply for funding for their 5G use cases.
 
The UK-based entrants can apply for anywhere from £250,000 to £5 million to support their 5G projects, though the DCMS has noted that it will consider even larger bids, as more funding may be made available at a later date.
 
“The UK government believes it has a responsibility to stimulate the investment and research in to 5G technology on a national scale, for the benefit of all citizens and businesses,” said Ian Smith, programme director of 5GTT.
 
When it comes to the specifics of the 5G use cases that are eligible for the funds, applicants to the 5GTT fund appear to have been given carte blanche. The few focus areas that are suggested in the brochure will come as no surprise, focussing primarily on combining machine learning and AI, as well as engaging with emerging user interfaces like AR and VR. 
 
It was also notable that the topic of security and broadening operators choice of 5G vendors featured throughout the 5GTT brochure; this seemingly comes as a result of the Government Telecoms Supply Chain Review, which is trying to lessen the UK’s dependence on ‘high risk’ vendor Huawei’s equipment.
 
Some industries, like agriculture and manufacturing, stand to gain a lot from the proliferation of new 5G technology, facilitating the industrial IoT and large-scale automation. For others, however, such as traditional office spaces, it is unclear how the new technology will alter the status quo besides simply offering faster connectivity. Funds like the 5GTT could be just what the industry needs to find innovative ways of impacting these less dramatically affected industries. 
 
Applications for the fund opened in March, with winners expected to be announced in June.
 
 
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