The Scottish Government has announced £4m in funding to speed up the roll-out of 5G across the country.
The money will be used to launch national hubs that will work with mobile operators and private network providers to improve connectivity in Scotland.
Scotland’s first hub will be based in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, with the aim of bringing together academics, industry and government bodies to speed up the development of 5G infrastructure and encourage innovation and investment.
More locations for potential hubs to be set up later this year and in 2021 are being considered as part of the Scotland 5G Centre’s Connect Programme.
Scotland’s connectivity minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The 5G revolution presents a significant opportunity for Scotland in the years ahead, particularly as we look to build the economic recovery on the back of Covid-19.
“Now is the time to develop something special for Scotland by establishing a framework on which we can enhance and widen digital connectivity in all parts of the country through next-generation technologies.”
Paul Coffey, the Scotland 5G Centre’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be launching the S5G Connect programme today and to be able to start the process of offering businesses across Scotland the opportunity to get involved in the acceleration of 5G deployment.
“The role of the Scotland 5G Centre is to act as a catalyst for bringing together industry, academia and the public sector and this programme allows us to do that.
“We are excited to begin working with industry partners from a variety of sectors on this initiative.”
He added: “5G deployment has commenced but the technology is still nascent and some of the new-use cases are still a few years away.
“The Scotland 5G Connect Hubs will play a key role in accelerating that process and making the potential of 5G a reality.”