Government announces funding for 5G and Wi-Fi research

Silver "5G" in 3D

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will contribute 60,000 into research for next-generation connectivity including 5G and Wi-Fi.

The funding will be given to the Spectrum Policy Forum, launched a year ago, which forms part of TechUK and endeavours to research into how the UK's spectrum can be used most efficiently.

The project has started by looking into how ultra-high frequency (UHF) spectrum can be used and how high-speed Wi-Fi networks and 5G can be developed.

Communications minister Ed Vaizey said at the 5G Huddle conference: "DMCS, which is a notoriously mean and tight department, has managed to find 60,000 to support this work which is clearly a vote of huge confidence."

Former UK science minister David Willetts warned that many of the subjects the Spectrum Policy Forum is investigating into, including speeding up mobile connections to 5G, could elevate privacy and data fears from the enterprise as it's yet another way hackers could maliciously access data.

5G will supposedly offer speeds of up to 100 times more than modern 4G LTE networks, although it would seem it'll be a fair few years until we see such improvements.

The UK is leading the charge to get 5G services up and running, with three of the country's universities teaming up to develop the technology.

In March, David Cameron promised that 5G will come to the UK, allowing people to download an 800MB movie to a mobile device 40 times faster than when using 4G thanks to research by the University of Dresden, King's College University in London and the University of Surrey.

The University of Surrey is already working with a number of organisations to create a 5G Innovation Centre on its main campus in Guildford.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.