UK Government-backed 5G facility to be built in Oxfordshire

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UK Government-backed 5G testing facility is set to be built in Oxfordshire with UK businesses being encouraged to tap into the potential of 5G and satellite technology.

The engineering hub, set to be built by the IT and business consultancy CGI in ESA-ECSAT at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, is being backed by over £3 million (€3.3 million) of government investment and due for completion in 2021.

Providing a base for UK researchers and businesses to experiment, the new 5G hub – eventually planned to extend across the entire Harwell campus – will provide a testing facility that can show the benefits of hybrid 5G and satellite communications networks.

The hope is that once the technology is demonstrated the techniques can be rolled out to other businesses across the UK.

In October, three UK employers pledged to create 5,000 tech-related jobs. Liberty Global, the owner of Virgin Media, and O2’s parent, Telefónica, unveiled plans to create 4,000 jobs in the UK and another 1,000 apprenticeships to accelerate the rollout of 5G.

Space and tech companies are focusing on 5G because it allows for a broad range of applications across industries, including “Internet of Things” technology where chips in billions of devices talk to one another, bringing the prospect of huge efficiencies in everything from medicine and manufacturing to farming.

It is also a quick, affordable way of bringing a fast data network to places where cables will not reach, from remote villages to disaster zones.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “This year staying connected has taken on a new profound importance – from keeping in touch with loved ones and competing in Zoom quizzes to helping us tackle COVID-19.

“This new state-of-the-art facility backed by government funding will enable our brightest researchers and engineers to better understand how 5G can help connect us all, creating new business opportunities, while delivering green efficiencies across the UK,” she concluded.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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