NI in running for rural 5G trials

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Northern Ireland’s “thriving” tech sector can bid for innovative rural 5G technology opportunities, the British Government has said.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan launched a £30 million UK-wide competition to spark a tech revolution in countryside communities.

Up to 10 rural locations will be chosen to run trials 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 test beds and deliver the benefits of the highest speeds of mobile connectivity available.

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith said: “Northern Ireland boasts a thriving tech sector, which provides jobs and fosters innovation.

“I welcome the launch of the Rural Connected Communities competition, which is an excellent opportunity to ensure that rural communities are also equipped to embrace the opportunities of the digital age and 5G technology.”

The new funding will build on 5G in rural communities.

Ms Morgan said: “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.”