Commercially available 5G leadership targeted by the UK before 2020

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Telecoms.com recently attended the 5G Huddle seminar in London where executives of the industry and representatives of the governments of Asia, North America and Europe promised commercial availability of 5G by 2020. Simon Towler, the UK’s Deputy Head of Telecommunications Policy was among the speakers at the seminar making this bold prediction. One of the focal discussion topics was the Internet of Things along with competition, regulation, privacy, security and spectrum availability.

David Willets, a UK MP stated: “For me it is this wider opportunity of Internet of Things, which really is significant, and that’s what’s caught our imagination in government. I want the UK to be one of the world leaders in 5G and that’s why we’re trying to take advantage of being early movers in this space.” He went on to say that there should be deeper discussions on spectrum availability and that America’s example should be followed by the UK in questioning the degree of spectrum needed by security services and the military. Confirming that spectrum is indeed a major issue for the government, Simon Towler said that plans to free off 500 MHz of the spectrum (400mHz – 5gHz) from public sector utilisation before 2020 formed the backbone of the government’s strategy for the spectrum, through the next significant release of 2.4gHz and 2.3gHz. Towler said “But it [spectrum release]is not the only answer. There is a limit how far additional spectrum us going to get you… We need more sites and investment in infrastructure.”

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