ICE sets out industry perspectives on 5G technology

ICE Policy Manager, Kelly Forbes, outlines the scope of the National Infrastructure Commission’s latest inquiry into 5G technology, and summarizes ICE’s response.

Fast and powerful 5G networks have the potential to change how we design, deliver and operate our infrastructure
Fast and powerful 5G networks have the potential to change how we design, deliver and operate our infrastructure
  • Updated: 03 August, 2016
  • Author: Kelly Forbes, ICE Policy Manager

Earlier this year, the UK Government tasked the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) with exploring how its vision of the UK as a world leader in 5G technology – the next step for mobile networks beyond 4G – could be delivered.

In its consultation the NIC set out to explore a range of issues, including:

  • What uses have been envisaged for 5G?
  • Which appear most credible from a UK perspective, and over what timeframe?
  • What regulatory, planning and other key challenges need to be overcome to support the rapid and cost effective deployment of 5G across the UK?

The NIC’s exploration of 5G roll-out in the UK is essential if the Government is to deliver its ambition to make the country a world-leader in the technology.

5G has the potential to change how we design, deliver and operate our key infrastructure assets, create significant efficiencies in the construction industry, and change the face of our built environment.

ICE response

In our response ICE brought together a range of experts - including members of our Information Systems Expert Panel – and sought views from the wider industry.

We identified that our infrastructure will become increasingly digital, and that changing communications technology will play a key role in supporting this. Access to BIM and cloud technologies on site, the deployment of smart highways and the “internet of things” may all be enabled by next generation communications technology.

As such, it’s essential that the NIC understands the requirements of industry as well as those of consumers, in order to best inform Government.

ICE believes that the success of a national 5G project will be depend on:

  1. Getting approval, regulation and planning, the programme, funding and policy right – as with all major infrastructure projects
  2. The security and resilience of future infrastructure which is dependent on 5G connectivity - in order to avoid cascade failures in increasingly interdependent systems
  3. Considering the industry requirements of 5G and how their will be different from those of consumers

View the full ICE consultation response

Get involved

The NIC is currently reviewing all responses and will publish its report to Government later this year.

Over the next few months ICE will be exploring in more depth the future of digital technologies in civil engineering and the construction industry.

Keep your eyes open for more details, but in the meantime you can find out more about how technology is helping our growing cities overcome big challenges, and as always, join in the conversation!