Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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Government to boost 5G and simplify planning to support mobile deployment

 

£40 million is to be invested in 5G testbed and trial projects across UK industry as part of Government plans to improve mobile connectivity.

Previous investment in the 5G testbeds and trials programme has driven work in the healthcare, tourism, transport and broadcasting sectors. The latest investment will support similar work in the logistics and manufacturing sectors.

Projects will trial ways which can help these sectors increase their productivity and output, boosting the UK economy. The trials could cover different manufacturing processes as well as across road, air, and sea based freight logistics.

The funding was announced by Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright at the 5G World Conference as part of London Tech Week. The latest round of investment is through the £200 million project to test 5G technology that’s up to ten times faster than 4G and able to support more than a million devices per square kilometre.

Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright yesterday said:

As part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we’re making sure that Britain has a telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.

5G is about more than mobile phone consumers having a fast and reliable connection anywhere in the country. It’s a vital piece of technology that can be used to improve the productivity and growth of our industrial sectors. That’s why we’re excited to develop new trials in areas such as manufacturing and logistics that can really benefit from 5G.

In addition to the new funding, the Government has confirmed that it will consult on proposals to simplify planning processes in England to both support the further roll-out of 4G and aid the faster introduction of 5G.

Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, yesterday said:

Getting the planning system right for future 5G and today’s 4G networks is critical to ensure the UK continues to lead the world in digital connectivity. It is right that the Government has announced it is to look at simplifying planning processes and we stand ready to work in partnership to ensure this can happen as quickly as possible to aid the continued rollout of mobile networks.

This is part of the Government’s long-term strategy for meeting its digital connectivity targets, outlined in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review.

The plans involve tackling barriers to deployment and creating the right conditions for investment to deliver better network coverage that supports the way we live and work today.

A key part of this is making new spectrum available to increase capacity for mobile connectivity. The Ministry of Defence, in partnership with DCMS, has committed to making 168MHz of new spectrum available to facilitate the deployment of fixed and mobile networks.

This means the Government has already exceeded its target to make 500MHz of public sector spectrum available for commercial use by 2020, and will continue to work with departments to explore opportunities for more spectrum to be made available.

Notes to editors:

  • We expect a public competition to launch later this year for bids to be made for the next testbed and trials in 5G. The competition will be open for bids from across the whole of the UK.
  • The recent release by the Ministry of Defence of 168 megahertz in the 8 gigahertz band, puts the total spectrum released under PSSRP at 552 MegaHertz.
  • The Government has undertaken a thorough, evidence-based and hard-headed review of the 5G supply chain to ensure the secure and resilient roll-out of 5G. Throughout the review, we have consulted extensively with industry and have been clear from the start on their need to comply with the government’s final decision which will be published in due course.

 

 

In this Ofcom document, they clearly state that the dangerous Millimetre waves technology using 26 GHz will NOT mention what applications it will be used for.

Enabling 5G in the UK
4
1.15 High-frequency (mmWave) spectrum which, to date, has not been used to deliver mobile services, is likely to be used to support new 5G applications, in particular those that require high capacity and very low latency by both MNOs and other players.

6 Latency is the amount of time between a command and its corresponding action, 5G will make this delay unnoticeable.
1.16 While responses to our 26 GHz call for input indicated that the band is likely to be become important for 5G, many suggested that it is too early to say how the band will be used, and for what purposes. We will continue to collate evidence from stakeholders across different
sectors and continue our engagement internationally to inform our understanding given the wide international interest in using high frequency spectrum for mobile. We are particularly keen to encourage trials at 26 GHz, the 5G mmWave pioneer band.

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/111883/enabling-5g-uk.pdf

A Surrey University study implies that millions of trees would have to be cut down to ensure continuous signalling for self-driving buses, cars and trains.:
 

Brown, Tim, Michael Fitch, David Owens, Simon Saunders, Andy Sutton, and Stephen Temple. 5G Whitepaper: Meeting the Challenge of “Universal” Coverage, Reach and Reliability in the Coming 5G Era. Publication. Institute For Communication Systems, University of Surrey. 5. Accessed February 5, 2019. https://www.surrey.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2018-03/white-paper-rural-5G-vision.pdf.

“Having adjacent trees and or building at comparable heights to the mast can reduce coverage by as much as 70% in that direction, which is not in the interests of the operator, the local planning authorities and more importantly the mobile phone user. This is the source of many of today’s mobile coverage issues. for consumers in many rural locations.”

3.1 Mast height at tree level as a limiting factor on reach and reliability New ways for local planning authorities to work with mobile network operators offers huge future opportunities for local communities to benefit from a leap forward in rural coverage. In the past the priority for planning authorities has been to reduce mobile mast heights so that masts are visually screened by buildings and/or trees – with trees being the highest and more likely obstruction. However this also screens the RF signals and has defeated the objective of reliable coverage as illustrated in figure 3. The curves plotted in the diagram show how increasing the tree height above the line of sight from the base station and further into what is known as the “Fresnel zone” of the propagation channel will cause substantial diffraction or shadowing loss. To avoid this shadowing loss and be outside of the Fresnel zone, it is necessary for the tree height to be at least 3m less than the base station height.

A Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Times found that more than 110,000 trees had been cut down by UK councils between 2015 and June 2018.

Reasons given range from the well-intention ed (preventing wheelchairs from passing, need to put in a new bus lane) to the dubious (it’s cheaper to cut the trees down than not to) to the inane (they were getting in the way of our lawnmowers).

It is NO surprise that the three areas named are also the areas that were having 5G testbeds and trials.

A company called Amey have cut the trees down in Sheffield.

In a background paper on smart cities put together  by the United Kingdom’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills, ARUP estimates that the global market for smart urban systems (including transport, energy, sanitation and healthcare) 

 It is already a £280m market that will grow to £1tn by 2020, according to UK government estimates. The UK’s share of this global market is estimated at 10%. other words, it’s a huge market opportunity.

One such company is Design for Social Change. (D4SC) is an urban innovation company based in London, Bangalore and Berlin. It develops collaborative urban technologies to co-create smarter cities. It was incorporated in the UK in 2013.

City authorities in Malaysia, Portugal and Denmark are exploring using D4SC’s citizen engagement and smart city planning.

According to D4SC founder Priya Prakash, one of the company’s most successful initiatives has been Changify SmarterStreets, a next-generation data platform that combines bottom-up citizen data – what he calls “little data” – with top-down statistical and historical city data (big data) to co-create smarter cities in real time.

http://www.changify.org/smarterstreets/

“We are technically piloting this in Plymouth with an active local community of cyclists and local Amey maintenance crews to co-create intelligent service provisioning for road infrastructure through real-time feedback loops using social media,” says Prakash.

“This pilot is trialling a new bottom-up, citizen-driven approach using crowdsourcing, sensor data and voting. It could change the way that highways issues in cities can be managed.”

 
 

Proof that the same company is chopping down trees in Sheffield.

The fellings are part of a 25-year, £2.2bn PFI contract. Signed in 2012 between the Labour-led council and a private company, Amey, the Streets Ahead programme is intended to upgrade “the condition of our city’s roads, pavements, streetlights, bridges …” – no small feat in a place that was known as “pothole city”.

The contract has serious implications for the city’s 36,000 roadside trees, which have in effect been privatised until the late 2030s. Amey, a subsidiary of the massive Spanish company Ferrovial, has so far removed around 5,350, including oaks, elms and limes.


Urban Institute and Amey join forces for Smart Urbanism Experiments 

https://urbaninstitute.group.shef.ac.uk/researching-sheffields-diverse-landscape-of-smart-urbanism-experimentation/.


https://www.smh.com.au/business/telstra-pushes-for-5g-that-works-in-australia-20170109-gto0gz.html
 
On the 17th June 2019 Amey won funding from Innovate UK, the agency financing the Smartcity/5G roll out in the UK to  collect real time data from the railway infrastructure with Network Rail using AI drones.https://www.amey.co.uk/media/press-releases/2019/june/ameyvtol-set-to-revolutionise-robotic-data-capture-from-the-skies/
 
Network Rail planned the  chopping of trees (which is a  proposed five-year ‘enhanced clearance’ programme) which could see  trees chopped along 20,000 miles of track.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/09/revealed-network-rails-new-800m-scheme-to-remove-all-leaf-fall-trees?CMP=share_btn_fb