Explore how the fifth generation network can offer connections beyond the city, to capitalise on a rural technology revolution 


Cities with established communication infrastructure may already be primed for the fifth generation network to provide better connections and faster data sharing. But what about the rural areas in UK and how are they set for change as 5G roles out in the future?


Recently the UK government announced £30m to spark a rollout of next generation 5G in rural areas enabling the countryside to be better connected and capitalise on faster data sharing. New competition launched to test groundbreaking 5G applications in rural areas, alongside proposed planning reforms to improve and extend mobile coverage.


An imitation tree disguises a phone mast in Bedfordshire. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters


Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan has launched a £30 million UK-wide competition to spark a tech revolution in countryside communities and help rural Britain seize the opportunities of 5G technology. Source gov.uk 


  • Up to ten rural locations will be chosen to run innovative trials of 5G applications and stimulate commercial investment in 5G technology which offers mobile speeds 10 to 20 times faster than previous generations.


  • The Rural Connected Communities competition is the latest wave of £200 million funding to pioneer 5G testbeds across the country and deliver the benefits of the highest speeds of mobile connectivity available.


  • This technology is already being used in the Orkney Islands to remotely monitor salmon fisheries and improve efficiency of wind farms, and in Shropshire, the 5G trials are showing how farming can be transformed through targeted crop-spraying and soil analysis with drones and tractors.


“The British countryside has always been a hotbed of pioneering industries and we’re making sure our rural communities aren’t left behind in the digital age. We’re investing millions so the whole country can grasp the opportunities and economic benefits of next generation 5G technology. In modern Britain people expect to be connected wherever they are. And so we’re committed to securing widespread mobile coverage and must make sure we have the right planning laws to give the UK the best infrastructure to stay ahead.” Nicky Morgan, UK Government Digital Secretary.


The UK government are committed to make sure that all aspects of the population have the accesibitlity to this new faster data communication network with a consultation on planning reform, which closes on 5 November 2019. This is part of the Government’s long-term strategy for meeting its digital connectivity targets, outlined in the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review. The consultation seeks evidence from industry, communities and other stakeholders on the scope of the proposed planning reforms and the impact they could have. Subject to the outcome of this consultation a second consultation on the detailed proposals is likely to be required before introducing any legislation. The consultation proposals relate to England only.


The Government has committed to extend geographical 4G mobile coverage to 95%, to ensure continuous mobile connectivity is provided to all major roads, and to be a world leader in 5G. 


To find out more about how 5G is connecting communities and businesses contact Hayley McCarthy.

To find out more about the UK Government’s digital strategy surrounding 5G click here. 

Why not download a White Paper from our client Invenica, exploring how 5G is unlocking the potential of Edge Computing and Consumer Internet of Things.