Swindon aims to be UK’s first 5G town

14 November 2018

5G phone signal

Swindon could become the first UK town to boast widespread commercial 5G connectivity, potentially making it an attractive destination for forward-thinking businesses.

The reason Swindon is in a position to be eyeing up this 5G head start is down to a fortuitous relationship with UK mobile network Three.

It seems the town’s 4G network was set up by Relish, which was acquired by Three in May 2017 as part of a wider grab for 5G-primed 3.4GHz spectrum. Now Three is obliged to provide Swindon with a mobile network update, and the town is looking to capitalise.

“We’ve said to them [Three] instead of going up the ladder to provide more 4G why didn’t they just give us 5G instead?” said Councillor Oliver Donachie (via the Swindon Advertiser).

It seems Three has assented to this request, which could well position Swindon as one of the earliest commercial 5G adopters in the country. The appeal to new businesses should be clear, with a vast increase in bandwidth and the potential to ditch the costly physical wiring to homes and premises through 5G Fixed Wireless Access.

“Companies will be knocking on our door,” predicts Donachie. “There are businesses that don’t care so much about location or what their offices are like; they care most about their broadband connection - and if we can say we’ve got 5G in Swindon before anywhere else, except London, it will be massive for us.”

The early provision of 5G in Swindon would also help as Swindon College bids to become an Institute of Technology (IOT). If it wins approval for this status, the institute will be responsible for providing training to more than a thousand higher level apprentices and students across the region.

If approval is granted for Swindon’s 5G plans and it moves through the local council’s planning process without a hitch, then the next generation network should be implemented within the next year.

Numerous 5G testbeds are already in place around the country, in towns such as Basingstoke, Brighton, Bristol and Bedford. But the race to become the first fully connected 5G town appears to be on, and Swindon could be a major contender.

Technical Writer at 5G.co.uk

Jon has nine years experience of writing and editing copy for leading publications, as well as attending technology shows and events and conducting interviews. Currently working with 5G.co.uk, TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, T3, Digital Spy, What Mobile, Pocket Gamer, and The Gadget Show.

Prepare your network site for 5G and IoT in a changing world

That’s where CommScope’s Site Solutions for Techies ebook comes in.

Three is partnering with CityFibre for faster 5G roll out

Three will use CityFibre’s full fibre backhaul to power up its 5G network, boosting...

Three 5G going live in 66 locations at the end of February

Three 5G is finally almost here and it could be available in more locations than...

Three’s 5G rollout behind schedule

Three says its 5G rollout is running “slightly” behind schedule and will launch...

Three plans to take the Internet of Things to the next level

Three is piloting an LPWA network before expanding it out across the UK.

JolaMobile brings Three Big Data to its rugged business SIM portfolio

Business users can now use Three Big Data rugged SIMs via JolaMobile for their PoS...

As seen on:
Washington Post logo
Financial Times logo
Guardian logo
BBC logo
Telegraph logo
Forbes logo