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Samsung will take part in 5G mobile internet tests in London in the second half of 2017 Reuters

Samsung and telecommunications company Arqiva will bring 5G mobile internet to the UK during the second half of 2017.

The two companies will be conducting a trial in central London to discover if the next-generation technology can become a suitable replacement for fibre optic broadband from 2020 and beyond.

Arqiva owns a national licence to use the 28GHz spectrum in the UK, the same band used for 5G trials in South Korea, Japan and the US.

The test could lead to a future where residential and commercial properties connect to a super-fast internet connection wirelessly over 5G, as smartphones do with 4G today, instead of through a fixed fibre optic line.

By connecting to a wireless access unit outside, the time, cost and complexity of installing new fibre internet connections to properties is greatly reduced. The home or business owner can simply purchase a router, wirelessly connect this to the access unit outside, then connect their Wi-Fi device to the router as normal.

But as well as traditional internet connections, 5G is expected to be used to help autonomous cars talk to each other and the infrastructure around them, and for internet-of-things devices like connected kitchen appliances to get online.

"5G will be a crucial pillar of the UK's economy in the 2020s. The smarter network infrastructure and an enhanced ability to support exponential scale for connectivity will open the doors to further applications across a variety of markets such internet-of-things, industrial applications and the full promise of autonomous vehicles," said Arqiva chief executive Simon Beresford-Wylie.

UK to be a 'world leader' in 5G networking

On why the UK has been chosen for the 5G trial, Thomas Riedel, head of Samsung Networks Europe, said: "There is so much opportunity in the region due to the diversity of markets and services already in place here, and we think the UK is a prime candidate to show off the benefits that 5G can bring to consumers here."

Culture secretary Karen Bradley said: "The government wants the UK to be a world leader in 5G and we're already laying the foundations for a successful launch."

The government is investing £1bn to boost the UK's digital infrastructure and support 5G trials like the one to be carried out by Samsung and Arqiva.