The UK government talked up a set of telecoms initiatives as it pushed ahead with a satellite broadband plan in Scotland and announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on open RAN with Australia.

In a press release coinciding with the start of London Tech Week, the government noted its strategies reflect UK’s efforts to cement itself as a leader in the sector.

Firstly, it highlighted plans to deploy high-speed satellite broadband, announced in April, in Papa Stour island, one of the most isolated communities in UK. Clarus Networks Group and OneWeb will provide the satellite connectivity.

“Improving Papa Stour’s connectivity is a major milestone in our efforts to close the digital divide as it transforms the lives of the island’s residents and visitors,” said the UK minister for data and digital infrastructure John Whittingdale.

The satellite push forms part of a “package” which will also see the installation of smart lampposts in the area.

This, the government believes, will help unlock the full potential of 5G and other technologies to modernise infrastructure.

Smart lampposts or “multi-purpose columns” will support services covering improved mobile networks, public Wi-Fi, EV charging and safety and environmental monitoring. The government stated investing in the devices can help authorities cut costs and expand network coverage.

The programme is an expansion of a recently released wireless infrastructure strategy.

Whittingdale also announced an MoU with Australia to solidify the pair’s existing partnership and target telecoms diversification moves, with an eye to attracting new market entrants to reduce “global reliance” on the few vendors providing 5G and other equipment.

The MoU will see the countries collaborate on open RAN to promote interoperability and “much more vendor diversity in the telecoms ecosystem”.