back to article What else can we add to's tech project bonfire? Oh yeah, 5G

The UK's £217m 5G testbed trials have already hit a major speed bump due to a lack of available equipment, according to an official report. In the Infrastructure Project Authority's annual report (PDF), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport's (DCMS) programme was rated as amber/red – meaning delivery is doubtful …

  1. Aitor 1 Silver badge


    We should recognize this is mostly a waste of money.

    There is a reason the manufacturers are not interested.. they would have to provide all the erpertise, equipment and coordination for meagre sales and results.

    Why are we doing this?

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "finding a vendor who is able to supply hardware that meets the requirements of a trial"

    So they want to do a trial, but no vendor is giving them the equipment to do so ? That's interesting. I would have thought that some big name would be falling over itself to put its name on a successful trial.

    I therefor conclude that the trial would not be satisfactory, meaning 5G is just a load of hot air and everyone prefers blowing wind instead of actually making it work. So 5G is not yet ready for trials. See ? The trial worked !

    1. matthewdjb

      Re: "finding a vendor who is able to supply hardware that meets the requirements of a trial"

      Yes, it is a lot of hot air. Over in abroadland, I'm taking part in a 5G trial. I have at home a 5G router. It is no faster than my fixed line (as fast), is very noisy and runs very hot - hence blowing a lot of hot air.

      It's kept switched off.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another vanity project that serves no purpose...

    Just another waste of tax payers money. I was reading another article this morning about that moron Transport Minister! I think its about time, Ministers became legally liable for their mistakes... In any other profession, this kind of wastage would not only get shareholders pissed off, but would probably have the Law chasing them.

    But saying that, who is the biggest moron... The Minister wasting the money? Or the voters who keep getting distracted when the same Minister shouts "Brexit"!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another OIS* government bright idea

    *Ooooo, It's Shiny

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A DCMS spokesman said:

    "I have my fingers firmly in my ears, and my head well under this sand"

  6. Justthefacts Silver badge

    Indeed, why are we doing this?

    The original justification presumably was something along the lines of “it’s strategic for the UK to have good 5G infrastructure”. But nobody is making this “for the UK”. They are making it for worldwide MNO deployment, plus we don’t have a nationalised MNO any more. When 5G works, some MNOs will buy it. Whether it’s useful or not in practice might determine whether all of them will.

    The only role for gov is in making a purchasing decision as to whether to migrate critical gov services to run over 5G (eg ambulance, police) which 5G claims to enable. Then.....why not wait until it’s actively deployed? They want to run trials of critical services over a technology in beta-test?!

    1. JohnGrantNineTiles

      Re: Indeed, why are we doing this?

      The idea was to give UK companies a head start in developing applications that use the new services 5G provides. Problems include:

      - they wanted the testbeds to be built using off-the-shelf equipment (which by definition isn't the latest technology) on the assumption it's cheaper

      - there are precious few applications that can be done with the current (3GPP Release 15) version of 5G that can't be done with 4G

      - the way the calls for proposals are structured locks out micro-enterprises with really innovative (and cheaper and less power-hungry) technology which could have got the UK into a position where it wouldn't be dependent on China and the US for the equipment that implements the really interesting features of 5G

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: Indeed, why are we doing this?

        Low latency applications, so I would say time critical remote control, for example.. or devices that send data and sleep.. there are quite a few applications.

        Now, why would you rely on a network operator to do time critical remote control is another question, as this is a shared service..

        In any case, as much as I love technology, this makes little sense, as what is the purpose of the project? what are the goals?

      2. Justthefacts Silver badge

        Re: Indeed, why are we doing this?

        Thanks, that’s quite enlightening as to the goals....I might even support those! The problems are quite problematic though. Sounds as if most people agree the project should be killed though, if the basics of execution can’t be improved. Maybe part of the problem is that most of the UK companies that were significant or potential players in 3G and 4G chips are taken over.

  7. Pat Att

    What's the point of 5G?

    I can download a film in 7 seconds. It still takes me 90 minutes to watch the dam thing. Bar some special (government and industry) uses, I suspect it's the next fancy tech (think "3D TV") we really don't need.

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