UK’s 5G landscape is active and growing rapidly, says new Digital Catapult report

By Zenobia Hegde

Digital Catapult has published what it claims is the UK’s first 5G landscape report and online reference tool, and it highlights a lively, active and growing 5G ecosystem in the UK.

Commissioned by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, the report provides a first of its kind snapshot and barometer to help the UK Government and industry assess 5G activity and deliver on the UK’s 5G Strategy.

With this holistic view in place, policy makers will be better positioned to progress the UK’s advancement in 5G, and realise the Government’s ambitious goal to begin rolling out commercial deployments of the network across the country by 2019.

With the prediction that 5G will enable US$12.3 trillion (€10.47 trillion) of global economic output by 2035, Digital Catapult’s report highlights that the UK has huge potential, with a wide range of actors in the 5G space. These include private and public sector organisations, academics and researchers, and startup and emerging network innovators.

These are all supporting growth in the field, with testbeds and trials already taking place. There are currently 39 academic institutions, 29 local authorities and 57 companies undertaking almost 200 5G related activities in the UK.

The report demonstrates an increasing number of 5G activities in the UK, with exciting projects kicking off in four crucial areas of the economy: healthcare, transport, immersive technologies and manufacturing.

These projects, activities and innovations indicate that the UK 5G ecosystem is gaining momentum. It is also highly interconnected – within the UK and with universities and companies across the world. This strong network has entered the UK into the worldwide 5G scene, meaning it’s going toe-to-toe with other leading countries’ efforts.

Ian Campbell, Interim executive chair, Innovate UK, says: “This new report by Digital Catapult is the first to be undertaken in the UK, and goes a long way to helping us understand how 5G development can help to create a world-leading digital economy for the UK.

The Catapult in its role as the country’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre is perfectly placed to understand how the UK can maximise the immense opportunities from 5G.”

Ian Campbell

Dritan Kaleshi, 5G lead technologist, Digital Catapult, adds: ‘’The vision of 5G is much wider than an evolution of mobile broadband networks. This research shows that there are huge opportunities for 5G to unlock major economic and societal benefits in the UK.

With so much 5G activity, there is an excellent backdrop for innovative startups and scale-ups to explore how 5G can be utilised and start to experiment in building the products, services and immersive experiences of the future.”

According to Jeremy Silver, CEO Digital Catapult, “5G’s real impact depends on innovation. Around the UK, 5G development is moving from the universities to the market and all sorts of initiatives that have been in labs need to come into the light.

As the first comprehensive analysis of the UK’s 5G ecosystem, this report provides an invaluable resource, enabling innovators and policy makers to track the activities which are building UK 5G capability and providing helpful pointers to how UK companies can […]

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Posted on: June 13, 2018

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