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Successful Bid Could See 5G Technology In North Yorkshire

Successful Bid Could See 5G Technology In North Yorkshire

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Stuart Minting at 3:18pm 19th November 2019. (Updated at 8:20am 23rd February 2020)

The future of internet and mobile coverage across England’s largest county is looking increasingly bright, but there remain significant challenges to overcome, it has been claimed.

The leaders of North Yorkshire County Council will meet next week to consider approving a £1m bid for funds from the Government’s 5G Rural Connected Communities programme as part of a consortium.

If the bid is successful it is hoped the move will see 5G technology, which is set to be far faster and more reliable than 4G, with greater capacity and lower response times, introduced across the county earlier.

The consortium’s proposed Mobile Access North Yorkshire will develop 5G by building small networks in target communities using macro and small mobile cells connected to the internet.

The scheme would also see work with tourist attractions to develop innovative mobile 5G apps to improve the visitor experience and the development of integrated services with the adult social care department at the council to reduce loneliness by improving interaction and remote care.

It is also hoped the project will enable the effectiveness of the network for emergency services to be monitored and provide environmental data to the authority and partners, such as early flood warnings.

Councillor Don Mackenzie, the authority’s executive member for access, said 5G would open up a huge range of opportunities in the county, such as enabling more businesses to function well in rural areas and the wider use of remote health services.

It has been forecast 5G uses such as smart bins and intelligent lighting could save councils £2.8bn a year, while the NHS could see 1.1 million GP hours a year freed up.

Cllr Mackenzie said the 5G networks would come in small geographical areas called cells, and while they could provide the solution to the most hard to reach properties for superfast broadband, they would also need numerous transmitters erected.

Industry experts say 5G will employ multiple input and multiple output antennae to boost signals and capacity, and will also rely on lots of smaller transmitters stationed on buildings and street furniture rather than singular stand-alone masts.

Subject to a successful bid and public consultation some of the areas identified for the 5G trial include areas in and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park, such as Reeth, Hudswell, Marske, Grinton, Muker, north Coverdale, Leyburn, Middleham and Harmby.

Cllr Mackenzie said:

“5G is a bit like short wave radio. It doesn’t have the reach that less high frequency waves have so you need lots and lots of transmitters.

In North Yorkshire we have 604,000 people spread across a 3,300sq mile area, so it is not like providing 5G in the centre of Leeds.

It will present an environmental challenge from people who don’t like the idea of masts. But there will be more people concerned about their connectivity.”

He said the 5G proposals represented “big steps for North Yorkshire”, a month after a Shared Rural Network deal with the potential to increase 4G mobile coverage across the county from 63 per cent to 90 per cent was announced.

Cllr Mackenzie said while the deal was yet to be ratified, providers EE, O2, Three and Vodafone had agreed to collectively fund £530m and the Government up to £500m towards the towards a network of new and existing phone masts.

Comments

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PhillH, on 25th February 2020 7:52pm
Short wave radio is long range, do these people even know what they are talking about?

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