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Sure offering free 5G trial in St Peter Port and Vale areas

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HUNDREDS of islanders have been invited by Sure to take part in a free trial of 5G technology, which, it claimed, will be up to 40 times faster than broadband used by most people.

Justin Bellinger, Sure’s chief digital officer, said it was important that customers who take part in the 5G trial give feedback on their experience so that it can develop a network which is beneficial to people in their daily lives. (26390498)

Sure said it was the first local telecoms provider to launch such an innovative trial to assess how the new ‘fibre in the air’ technology can benefit islanders and businesses.

Two locations – in the Vale and St Peter Port – have been chosen to test 5G for three months.

Eligible customers have been contacted directly, with those who choose to participate given a free 5G router in their home or business.

Participants will provide feedback via online surveys to help understand the value of 5G for consumers and businesses and to test the feasibility of providing enhanced broadband services via 5G in the island.

Sure said 5G’s potential was best described as ‘fibre in the air’ because the technology, which the firm has been trialling on the island since 15 November, will look to replicate the speeds and reliability of fibre broadband without the need for cables. But it is also 20 to 40 times faster than the broadband that most people currently use.

‘5G is the future which offers the opportunity to connect communities in ways we’ve never seen before. So we’re excited to be launching this comprehensive trial to assess the different ways consumers and businesses will want to use this ground-breaking technology,’ said Justin Bellinger, chief digital officer at Sure.

‘At Sure, customers are at the heart of everything we do. We want 5G to benefit everyone, so it’s very important for us that our customers can trial this latest technology and give feedback on their experience so we can develop a network that is truly impactful and beneficial to their daily lives.’

He added: ‘We want to launch a considered, ubiquitous 5G network aligned with the States of Guernsey’s progressive and ambitious Future of Telecoms policy.

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‘Sure fully supports the strategy and we intend to work closely with both the government and [competition body] Cicra to bring the most relevant solution to the island to support innovation in our economy in an increasingly digital future.

‘Sure is very much committed to Guernsey and 5G will form an integral part of our comprehensive five-year investment plan for the Bailiwick.’

The company also said was it was committed to safety, adding: ‘Our current and future mobile networks will continue to meet the safety standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation, which are regulated and independently verified by Cicra.’

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, Economic Development’s lead for digital, said: ‘It remains the committee’s firm view that Guernsey’s digital connectivity needs to be of the highest standard to deliver the required benefits to the economy and community.

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‘Development of next generation mobile connectivity is a key part of that and it is therefore very positive progress to see 5G trials begin in the island. The trials will be an opportunity to gain first-hand local experience of the new technology before a wider roll-out is commenced.’

5G part of five-year plan

Sure’s 5G trial comes hot on the heels of a number of announcements by the telecoms company as part of its five-year plan to stay ahead of customer demand as consumers and businesses increasingly use digital services.

As well as the 5G trial, Sure’s plans include a commitment to increasing broadband speeds through extending its fibre-rich approach, trials for fibre directly to the home and a multimillion-pound investment in submarine cables that connect Guernsey to the rest of the world, providing the foundations for these upgrades and future growth.

Will Green

By Will Green
Business Editor

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