UK government sets 5G rollout target

The UK has set out a target of covering all populated areas with standalone 5G by 2030.

The target was revealed in the UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy published by the newly formed Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). The ambition is similar to the European Commission’s target as set out in the Digital Decade policy to cover all populated areas with 5G by 2030. The UK left the European Union in 2020.

While the EU does not specific technology type, the UK’s target specifies that this 5G coverage should be provided by standalone 5G (5G SA) technology. Standalone 5G is a network architecture that operates independently of existing LTE networks, allowing for various improvements over non-standalone networks.

The UK says it wants standalone to be widely available by the end of the decade, which it says will help to unlock new technologies like driverless vehicles, robots and drones.

In the same document, the government says it is offering £100 million of funding for early-stage research into next-gen 6G networks to ensure that “the UK is at the forefront of both adopting and developing 6G.”

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