A newly launched competition is to give up to ten rural locations funding totalling £30 million to trial new 5G telecommunications installations that could have big implications for the future of green field installations for the telecoms sector.
The competition was launched in late August by digital secretary Nicky Morgan, with the aim to pioneer ‘testbeds’ for 5G phone masts in rural parts of the UK.
She said: “In modern Britain people expect to be connected wherever they are. And so we’re committed to securing widespread mobile coverage and must make sure we have the right planning laws to give the UK the best infrastructure to stay ahead.”
At the same time, the government launched a consultation on planning rules for new 5G phone masts, which could make it much easier for mobile network operators to install taller 5G masts on green field and rural sites.
The proposals could see much taller masts become a common feature in rural landscapes; however, the ultimate aim is to reduce the total number of masts needed to give the same coverage.
By allowing taller and bigger masts equipped with a larger amount of supporting technology in one place, coverage by each could be greater, allowing smaller, older and redundant masts to be removed.
Installing 5G telecommunications in rural locations
Clearly there will always be public concerns about installing 5G telecommunications in rural locations, so it is important to do so sympathetically to the landscape.
At hebs Group we have a huge amount of experience in green field civils and electrical installations for the telecommunications sector, as more come online, we will apply this knowledge and expertise to 5G masts of all sizes too.
Under the current government proposals, this could include several changes to new and existing mobile infrastructure:
- Fewer but taller masts including mast-sharing agreements.
- Strengthening of existing masts to support 5G and mast sharing.
- Installing radio equipment cabinets without prior approval needed.
This last proposal includes both unprotected and protected land, although it would not extend to SSSIs.
In urban areas and rural residential communities, the proposals would also allow 5G masts to be built nearer to roads and located on buildings to provide better coverage.
For all of these emerging opportunities in 5G telecoms mast installation and the civils and electrical infrastructure required for them in green field locations, hebs Group will work hard to support the roll-out of 5G infrastructure and the mobile networks who operate it.