Ordnance Survey to map changing UK habitat for optimum 5G rollout

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The UK's Department of Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has tasked Ordnance Survey (OS) with devising a map of the country that determines the best location for 5G radio antennae.

OS, which is owned by the UK government, will work with the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre and the Met Office on the project, which will link OS data to spectrum information and meteorological data to ascertain where radio sites should be placed for the fastest data speeds and best network.

OS said the point is to deploy 5G access points and network equipment where the impact of the built and natural environment has minimal effect, and ensure UK 5G rollout happens “quickly and efficiently”, with minimum infrastructure costs.

The project will consider future building projects, weather conditions, and the natural habitat. Planners will test broadcast range and reliability throughout the seasons and over the coming years.

The mapping tool will be trialled in Bournemouth, and rolled out to the rest of the UK and other countries.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: “Our ambition is to be a world leader in 5G technology, which is why we are investing in research and demonstration initiatives like this ground breaking 5G mapping pilot. It is projects such as this which will make sure the UK can harness the potential of this exciting technology and help build the hyper-connected Britain we all want to see.”

[Read more: 5G to be a niche play in Europe during early 2020s, claims Ericsson]

Andrew Loveless, Commercial Director at OS, said: “In creating a highly accurate digital model of the real world, with added in attributes and intelligence, OS is taking mapping and data visualisation to unprecedented new levels with what can be achieved, complementing the government’s Digital Britain strategy.”