U.K. calls on interested parties to submit proposals for £5-million blocks of funding

The U.K. government on Monday announced that it would make available £25 million (€28 million) in funding for 5G trials with a view to exploring potential 5G business models, services and applications.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock announced that the funding would be allocated via £5-million match-funded grants, and invited interested parties to submit proposals for 5G projects.

The so-called 5G testbeds and trials competition is open to U.K.-registered organisations carrying projects in the U.K.

The funding forms part of the £740 million National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) the government announced in November last year. The fund is designed to support full fibre rollout and 5G.

"To stay competitive we must be at the cutting edge of new technology and we re determined to be one of the first countries in the world to use 5G," said Hancock, in a statement.

"In these very early stages we want all ideas, from all parts of the country, that will help us get the technology and the rollout right to have a nationwide network of 5G innovators," he said.

The government explained that the competition constitutes phase one of initial testbeds and trials projects that will help to develop the U.K.’s 5G ecosystem. The projects will cover areas such as exploring the potential for 5G to bring benefits to businesses; the development of 5G applications and services; exploring new business models; and reducing the commercial risks associated with investing in 5G.

Future phases will bring new funding opportunities, likely covering large multi-year projects that align with government priorities, or seek to solve deployment or technical challenges.