The UK government has issued a new “call for evidence” with the aim of informing the future Wireless Infrastructure Strategy (WIS).
The consultation aims to determine the UK’s wireless connectivity needs going forward and how 5G mobile could be better supported. Additionally, future 6G broadband, IoT, and satellite technologies will also be considered.
Unsurprisingly, the consultation predicts that wireless networks will need to be able to handle much larger amounts of data transfer over the next ten years, as well as handling billions of devices, and a considerably higher number of critical applications across various parts of the economy.
In a press release, the government said: “6G will power things like virtual reality calls, which give the sensation of being in the same room as the person at the other end of the line, revolutionise wearable technologies to improve healthcare and could allow for greater advances in smart cities and manufacturing.”
The consultation will allow the government to calculate the role that they will play in facilitating investment in the technology required, whilst also structuring policy changes around innovation and competition.
Additionally, the government will determine the regulatory changes that will be required via Ofcom.
The government hopes that the call for evidence will provide information from a wide range of groups, including network operators, academics, consumer groups, trade associations, and the wider public.
UK Digital Secretary, Nadine Dorries MP, said: “The Government is on a mission to connect the country to next-generation networks. Today’s announcements will help harness the huge potential of 5G and future wireless networks such as 6G to supercharge our plan to build back better.”
Mark Jackson of ISPreview said: “It’s important to remember that 6G development is not something that the UK Government has much control over and is more the product of various research teams from different countries, which will all eventually feed into an agreed standard.
“Overall, 6G isn’t expected to become a solid standard until around 2025, with commercial builds following in 2028, but the first draft standard may be defined in the 2021/22 period.”
The government has said that the WIS will be published in 2022.
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