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Scottish Government produces 5G strategy

28/08/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Scottish Government has outlined plans to work with local authorities and Transport Scotland as part of its strategy for the deployment of 5G networks around the country.

Abstract of hand holding 5G model on tablet computer

The moves are among a series of measures focused on public and private sectors, aimed at building a collaborative approach to initiatives in the field.

5G: strategy for Scotland includes a number of steps to support local authorities in the deployment of the technology.

One is the development of an infrastructure mapping portal, initially on a pilot basis, to help councils and other public sector bodies to understanding how they could benefit from existing Scottish Government projects.

Another is the development of a 5G procurement toolkit with lessons learned from existing projects, along with best practice guidance. The document says that many councils are already putting in place initiatives to ensure their internal processes and governance is ready to engage with the private sector on 5G, and there will be an effort to ensure these are widely shared.

There will also be an effort to develop guidance on the rental of public sector assets, including land and buildings, for the siting of telecoms infrastructure. This will initially be focused on the Scottish Government’s own holdings.

The strategy also takes in work with Transport Scotland on understanding how sustainable 5G transport corridors could be created on trunk roads using existing assets.

Themes

The work is taking place within themes that include improving rural connectivity, remote healthcare, agritech, tourism and the possible development of a public asset register that could be used by mobile network operators.

All this comes on top of existing measures outlined in the document, including working with city councils on using street furniture and public buildings as part of the 5G infrastructure, the creation of a digital transport corridor, and efforts to encourage the widespread deployment of internet of things technologies.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “There are huge potential gains for the public sector if we embrace technologies such as 5G. We believe this will be a catalyst for further public sector transformation, enabling high quality, user focused and efficient services that are driven by data.”

Among the potential uses of 5G highlighted in the announcement are to support monitors capturing real time information on patients discharged from hospital, localised flood warning systems, and the deployment of smart lighting, smart heating and electric vehicle charging points.

The Scottish Government said 5G could add £17 billion to the national GDP by 2035, creating 160,000 jobs and increasing productivity by £1,600 a worker.

Image by Christoph Scholz, CC BY 2.0

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