Ed Vaizey launches network for spectrum technologies

Minister for business, innovation and skills, Ed Vaizey, launches the Future Technologies Network

The minister for business, innovation and skills, Ed Vaizey, has launched the Future Technologies Network.

Speaking at a conference on the future of 5G technologies yesterday, Vaizey announced plans for an innovative programme to promote the importance of spectrum technologies such as 5G.

“It’s Important to show clearly that spectrum plays a huge role in our future economic growth," he said.

He highlighted the importance of spectrum-related organisations working closely with government and academics to develop future strategies and policies for technologies in the area. “If we work with you, we will get a better result all round," he said.

Vaizey said £60,000 has been allocated for the project, as well as funds provided by wireless companies.

Ofcom will play a big role in formal consultation for how spectrum should be used in the UK, according to the minister.

Ofcom has recently investigated the growth of new technologies and earlier this year launched a consultation on the internet of things (IoT), seeking to explore how the UK can invest and innovate in the connected world.

Last year, the minister worked with Tech UK to launch the Spectrum Policy Forum to help those in spectrum work closely with the government and "keep the cutting edge of spectrum policy".

A UK Spectrum Strategy was officially published in March to highlight how spectrum technologies can push forward UK growth and innovation.

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The minister announced that the Future Technologies Network would be closely linked with the Spectrum Policy Forum to focus on core values of spectrum and drive forward standards.

The UK's technology trade association launched a digital manifesto last month, detailing how the next government must turn the UK into a digital leader over the next five years.

Conservative MP David Willetts also spoke at the 5G conference. He said the UK has the potential to be a crucial player in 5G if it is involves itself in standards and R&D, and creates networked groups to develop the technology.

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