The UK government opened a competition for projects enabling mobile operators to host 5G equipment on public buildings and roadside infrastructure, in an effort to accelerate rollout of the next-generation technology.
Infrastructure including bus shelters and street lights are to be evaluated as part of the £4 million scheme. The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) explained in a statement the trial aimed to uncover ways for operators to deploy 5G equipment faster and more cheaply, while minimising the impact on the landscape.
The trial aims to address hurdles in operators acquiring information to ascertain if a structure is suitable for the installation of equipment. The DCMS cited location, physical dimensions and access to a power source as factors.
Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman predicted “huge potential” in lamp posts, as they could reduce the need to build new masts for 5G.
He also noted the move will help local councils and operators work more effectively to bring “the incredible benefits of faster connectivity as we level up the UK”.
Applications can be submitted until 18 November.
The scheme adds to other UK government pushes around 5G, including a £250 million commitment to diversify the supply chain, and a £30 million competition for open RAN R&D projects aimed at accelerated open RAN adoption.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back