Scottish government to invest £4 million in 5G hubs

The Scottish government has announced that it will launch a £4 million package to establish a nationwide network of 5G hubs. The aim of the S5GConnect Hubs is to increase take-up of 5G based mobile technology. The project will be delivered through the Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) and the S5GConnect Programme.

The first hub will be located in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, serving the wider Forth Valley Area. This will build on a partnership between the University of Stirling’s International Environment Centre and BT and will aim to develop a green data recovery platform and digital twin supporting the country’s net zero economy. A further nine hubs are due to follow.

The government will use these sites to promote innovation and investment, with hubs focusing on sectors relevant to the areas in which they are situated, such as healthcare or education. Hubs will work with mobile operators, network providers and academics to boost the deployment of 5G across the country.

Scottish Connectivity Minister Paul Wheelhouse MSP said: The 5G revolution presents a significant opportunity for us in the years ahead, and seizing such opportunities is particularly important as we look to build the economic recovery following the lockdown required to suppress the COVID-19 virus. A study conducted by Deloitte in 2019 found that harnessing enhanced 4G and 5G connectivity could increase Scotland’s GDP by more than £17 billion by 2035.”

“The Scottish Government’s investment of £4 million through the S5GConnect programme will enhance and widen digital connectivity in all parts of the country because we believe that it is through deploying next-generation technologies that we can create something special for businesses, families and communities.”

S5GC CEO Paul Coffey said: “5G deployment has commenced, but the technology is still nascent – and some of the new use cases are still a few years away. The S5GConnect Hubs will play a key role in accelerating that process and making the potential of 5G a reality. They will think nationally, but act locally, bringing together global and national priorities with local expertise through the reach of existing regional centres and organisations.”

“We are working in tandem with the national network of development agencies and enterprise accelerators to establish these facilities quickly.”