DSIT Funded 5G Adoption Projects

DSIT’s Wireless Infrastructure Strategy sets out its ambition to deliver nationwide coverage of standalone 5G to all populated areas by 2030, allowing people, businesses and public services across the UK to realise the full benefits of 5G. The government has allocated almost £150 million to support this work, with up to £100 million to put the UK at the forefront of research and £40 million to boost 5G tech adoption. 

The programme aims to deliver on the following objectives:


Showcase how 5G and other advanced wireless technologies can support technology application and innovation in key sectors like public services, rural industries and advanced manufacturing by acting as a foundation for enabling wider technological ambitions. 


Diversify the telecoms supply chain by using 5G adoption to drive investment in secure networks by stimulating demand and support the deployment of private networks.


Test and trial standards in pilot programmes across the UK, encouraging investment in in wireless networks and unlocking opportunities across the digital economy.

5G technology is estimated to bring up to £159 billion in productivity benefits by 2035 if adopted widely. The UK Government has set out a levelling-up initiative and, as a part of that, we want places and communities across the country to be able to experience the benefits of digital connectivity. Improved connectivity will improve lives and drive growth. All of this work goes hand-in-hand to move the UK towards a better understanding of the wide range of benefits, both social and economic, that 5G provides. 

Current Projects: 5G Innovation Regions

The Belfast 5G Innovation Region

The Belfast Region is contributing to Northern Ireland’s innovation economy by making targeted investments in initiatives that will accelerate the adoption and commercialisation of advanced wireless technologies.

The West Midlands 5G Innovation Region

By becoming a 5G Innovation Region, West Midlands will transform productivity, create skilled jobs, improve health and wellbeing, and reduce emissions in two of the region’s most important sectors, advanced manufacturing and smart communities, which covers social care, social housing, and other related local services.

The Greater Manchester 5G SMART Decarbonisation Network (GM 5G SDN)

The GM 5G SDN project focuses on how partners across Greater Manchester (GM) will tackle the drivers of climate breakdown at a city region level, accelerating decarbonisation, improving quality of life, and growing the Green Technologies and Services sector.

England’s Connected Heartland (ECH)

ECH will aim to increase adoption of 5G connectivity focussing on regional strengths in R&D, advanced engineering/manufacturing and education whilst aligning with other common regional dimensions such as rurality and improving public transport, particularly East to West.

The Glasgow 5G Innovation Region

Glasgow City Region will utilise existing Internet of Things (IoT) deployments and smart city applications to identify, deliver and propagate use cases for utilising advanced wireless technologies and driving improvements in public and private sector service delivery.

The North East 5G Innovation Region

In a visionary move towards a digitally empowered future, the seven North East local authorities (LA7) are positioning the region at the forefront of advanced wireless connectivity.

The Ayrshire 5G Innovation Region

The Ayrshire 5G vision is to become the UK's premier manufacturing-focused 5G hub, driven by five transformative principles: technological excellence, a thriving innovation ecosystem, sustainable economic growth, skills and talent development, and influential investment strategies.

The Borderlands 5G Innovation Region

The Borderlands Partnership is a collaboration between the counties which make up the English and Scottish border. Rural tourism is a key part of the Borderlands economy: the region has fewer than 1 million residents but welcomed more than 63 million visits in 2019.

The Growing Sussex 5G Innovation Region

Sussex Councils are actively working with Growers and Education stakeholders, conducting research, understanding sector ambitions and current connectivity constraints.

The River Severn Partnership Advanced Wireless Innovation Region

Formed in 2019, the River Severn Partnership (RSP) brings together significant partners (26) across 8 counties. RSP covers more than 6,000 sq miles spanning both England and Wales. It is home to 2.6 million people and is projected to increase by 15% over the next 20 years to 2.9 million, equivalent to Greater Manchester.