Technology will underpin our infrastructure revolution of national renewal
Right now we are helping innovative thinkers across Britain harness the power of 5G to make businesses more productive.
In June the Prime Minister announced a bold programme of national renewal to build back better in the wake of coronavirus. He spoke of infrastructure projects to build our communities, fuel economic recovery and create jobs faster for citizens across the UK.
In no other field can these benefits be better realised than in digital infrastructure, and in particular 5G, the next generation of mobile communications.
This ground-breaking technology will make mobile phones more powerful and able to process ever larger amounts of data. But 5G is about more than just having a faster phone. Its ultrafast and reliable connectivity will help make driverless vehicles a reality and underpin smart manufacturing technology.
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It will allow thousands of devices to be connected to the internet and each other to give people the power to remotely control everything from fridges to factories.
Last week, as part of London Tech Week, an annual celebration to champion the UK’s tech sector, I announced the next step in the Prime Minister’s infrastructure revolution has been completed. Our £350 million 700 MHz clearance programme has freed up more of the nation’s airwaves to give mobile operators the capacity to develop the 5G services of the future.
And since 2017 we’ve been investing millions of pounds in testbeds and trials the length and breadth of the UK to keep us on the 5G front foot and pioneer new ways to bring tangible benefits for people and to boost the economy.
Right now we are helping innovative thinkers across Britain harness the power of 5G to make businesses more productive, improve rural connectivity, cut pollution and congestion, and develop the next generation of entertainment.
In Yorkshire and Somerset, our projects have used 5G for precision agriculture so farmers can remotely monitor their livestock or use autonomous drones to fertilise crops.
New immersive tourism experiences are being rolled out at the country’s top tourist attractions and visitors will soon be able to see Robin Hood brought to life at Sherwood Forest or travel back in time at the Roman Baths through 5G-powered augmented reality performances.
We will make sure the lessons from these testbeds are shared across the UK but we are absolutely committed to ensuring the security of this amazing new connectivity.
Our Telecoms Security Bill in the autumn will make this a reality. It will give the government and Ofcom new powers to drive up security standards and control the presence of high-risk equipment vendors in our networks and enshrine in law one of the strongest regimes for telecoms security in the world.
We are also pushing ahead with international allies to diversify telecoms suppliers in our networks so we never find ourselves in the position of being reliant on a single equipment provider again.
Technology helped us get through the pandemic. It will also underpin our infrastructure revolution of national renewal to unite and level up the UK.