The UK government recently announced telecoms investment plans that would pump millions of pounds into creating “world class digital infrastructure” that it said would pave the way for a “better, more secure, more prosperous future”.
It has pledged to spend £150 million in the future of digital technology including on a new wireless infrastructure strategy and future telecoms.
A total of £100m will be spent to ensure the UK is “at the leading-edge of future telecoms and 6G technologies.”
Looking at the wireless infrastructure strategy which is designed to drive the deployment and adoption of fixed and wireless networks, there’s an emphasis on achieving 95 per cent coverage of 4G and standalone 5G in populated areas by 2030.
It also includes investing £40 million in 5G-enabled services and developing a comprehensive 6G strategy.
Key measures seek to support competition and investment in 5G networks, address coverage reporting issues, establish 5G ‘innovation regions’ and the creation of a national task force to promote local-level investment and adoption.
Additionally, the government plans to ensure that new hospitals have access to advanced wireless connectivity and will provide capital grants of £8 million to enhance satellite connectivity in remote areas.
To further promote future telecoms technologies, the government has allocated up to £100 million for a new national mission focused on 6G. This includes the establishment of Future Telecoms Research Hubs designed to support early-stage research and encourage market leadership and collaboration.
Rural areas are also considered with a 10-point plan that aims to improve connectivity including the delivery of future-proofed broadband, exploring satellite connectivity for hard-to-reach areas and expanding 4G coverage.
There is a lot in the planning and it is not yet clear how much of it will apply to Northern Ireland, but there is no doubt that investing in improved telecoms infrastructure can have a transformative impact on businesses.
The arrival of 6G in particular will aim to deliver ultra-fast data speeds and extremely low latency with speeds potentially reaching terabits per second providing instant access to vast amounts of data.
For businesses, this will enable real-time decision-making, enhance collaboration, and facilitate the use of emerging technologies like augmented reality or virtual reality, while also bringing the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) applications to new heights.
From manufacturing and healthcare to transportation and logistics, the ability to transmit and process data at lightning speed will unleash new possibilities and improve overall operational efficiency.
6G is also expected to provide a more reliable and robust connectivity infrastructure, particularly beneficial to those companies operating in remote locations.
Its arrival is, at best, still around five years away but businesses that are already embracing digital advancements will be best placed to benefit from the opportunities ahead from telecoms investment.