Bid for Mansfield to trial and test 5G tech

A bid has been submitted to Government which could see 5G technology trialled and tested in Mansfield.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 4th October 2021, 7:38 am

Nottinghamshire Council has been leading on the bid, which forms part of the Government’s new Future RAN Competition to fund research and development into 5G mobile internet.

The technology is the successor to 4G, and is a faster form of mobile internet which also allows a greater number of devices in a small area to be connected at the same time.

The FRANC aims to create and adopt a ‘new breed of wireless communication technology’, known as Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), allowing equipment from multiple suppliers to be used in the country’s 5G network.

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A bid has been submitted to Government which could see 5G technology trialled and tested in Mansfield.

The Government is allocating £30 million to the scheme, with bidders encouraged to submit projects which fast-track the availability of Open RAN products in areas of high connectivity.

Nottinghamshire Council led on the bid, with a Mansfield Council meeting confirming the north Nottinghamshire town is the hub for the council’s plan.

Speaking during the district council’s overview and scrutiny place committee, a council officer confirmed the authority has written a letter of support for the bid.

Fardad Amirsaeedi, council senior regeneration officer, said: “We are supporting a bid to access the fund to trial 5G technology in Mansfield.

“The submission has gone through to Government for a bid to trial 5G, and it will involve masts with possibly three companies participating in the trial process.

“This is through Nottinghamshire Council.

“About a year ago there was a big kerfuffle about the company Huawei, and this has come off the back of that.”

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The Government hopes the competition will improve research collaboration into 5G-led technology and support new, ‘homegrown players’ into the UK’s telecoms network.

It comes as part of the Government’s 5G Diversification Strategy, a £250m scheme published alongside plans to remove Huawei equipment from the 5G infrastructure.

Matt Warman, digital infrastructure minister, said: “This competition aims to get some of our most creative minds helping the UK safely and securely deliver the amazing benefits of 5G for people and businesses.

“It is a major part of our plans to harness the country’s tech prowess, open up the telecoms market, and create new jobs and investment.”

Winning projects are expected to be announced this autumn.

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