Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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5G rollout in the UK - infrastructure & spectrum, partnerships & security, and market outlook & potential economic contribution

Morning, Thursday, 5th November 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine the next steps for rolling out 5G networks and services in the UK.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • addressing the challenges for rolling out 5G across the UK
  • infrastructure and spectrum
  • network security and future partnerships
  • 5G markets, use cases and priorities for innovation
  • the potential role of 5G on economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Areas for discussion in detail:

Key practical challenges

Rolling out 5G infrastructure and services across the country, assessing:

  • implications of the Government’s recent-announced ban on Huawei’s involvement in the development of 5G in light of a report from the National Cyber Security Centre, which found that US sanctions on Huawei products means the UK can no longer ensure they are secure
  • Ofcom’s planned award of new spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.6 - 3.8GHz bands with bidding expected to begin in early 2021, and the likely impact of this on the development of 5G services
  • spectrum defragmentation - achieving efficiencies and addressing concerns expressed in the telecoms sector
  • achieving broad-based 5G coverage across the whole of the UK, including:
    • the role of the devolved governments and local authorities
    • what more may be needed from policymakers and regulators to ensure that 5G networks achieve a high percentage of coverage by both population and geographic area
    • the role that rural communities can play in building their own 5G networks - in light of the launch of the 5G New Thinking project, which brings together DCMS and a range of partners to develop the tools and knowledge required to enable these areas to improve their connectivity
  • latest developments in the ongoing 5G Testbeds and Trials programme:
    • following the announcement of a further £65m in funding, including recent funding from Government to encourage innovative use cases for 5G technologies across UK industries
    • what key lessons can be drawn from the experience gained thus far

The security of 5G networks

Looking now and into the future, focusing on:

  • the position of international technology partnerships and supply arrangements in the UK’s future 5G networks
  • ensuring that expected security benefits of 5G technologies are realised

The market for 5G services

Examining the future development of both B2C and B2B:

  • the future 5G offering for business and domestic users and assessing the differential benefits compared to present-generation wireless networks, and how they can be effectively marketed
  • key customer priorities, including pricing, reliability, speed and security, and the extent to which 5G offers potential for improvement in these areas
  • what more needs to be done to support competition, innovation and opportunities for potential new entrants in the market
  • research, development and investment priorities and the range of potential future use cases for 5G B2B and B2C applications

5G and UK economic recovery

Key lessons for the telecoms sector, both in the UK and internationally in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, looking at:

  • the likely role of improved and broadened digital connectivity in the UK’s economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic - in light of a recent report estimating that the technology could boost the economy by £158bn over the next ten years
  • what can be learned from the role played by digital infrastructure, including mobile and wireless networks, in the immediate response to the pandemic
  • assessing the permanence and impact of changes in demand, including in working patterns, remote access and other uses of telecoms services associated services such as public transport
  • what more is needed in order to ensure that the infrastructure is in place and can adapt to market changes

The agenda:

  • What has been learned so far from the testbeds and trials programme
  • Tackling the key challenges for rolling out 5G across the UK, and examining lessons and outcomes from the testbeds and trials programme
  • Priorities for securing the UK’s future 5G infrastructure
  • The role of international partnerships in the development of UK 5G networks
  • How can the response to the pandemic and trends that have emerged inform the UK's path to economic recovery? International lessons
  • Key priorities for spectrum allocation - enabling the development of 5G going forward
  • The future outlook for 5G markets, use cases and innovation

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It is certainly the case with this seminar. Places have been reserved from the House of Commons, as well as by officials from DCMS; BEIS; the Cabinet Office; Ofcom; the Ministry of Defence; Defra; the Department for International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Department for the Economy, NI; HMRC; the Home Office; the Information Commissioner's Office; Geospatial Commission; the Government Legal Department; the UK Space Agency; the National Crime Agency; NCSC; the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales; The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Dr Anas Tawileh

Managing Director, Systematics Consulting and Member, Security Sub-Group, UK5G Testbeds & Trials Working Group

Cristina Data

Director, Spectrum Information and Analysis, Ofcom

Ian Smith

Programme Director, 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme, DCMS

Keynote Speakers

Ian Smith

Programme Director, 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme, DCMS

Victor Zhang

Vice President, Huawei

Dr Anas Tawileh

Managing Director, Systematics Consulting and Member, Security Sub-Group, UK5G Testbeds & Trials Working Group

Dr Mike Short

Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Trade

Cristina Data

Director, Spectrum Information and Analysis, Ofcom


Baroness Neville-Rolfe

Vice Chair, Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum and Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cyber Security (subject to Parliamentary business)

Daisy Cooper MP

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Justice and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport


Simon Colvin

Partner and Global Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms, Pinsent Masons

David Crawford

Managing Director, On Tower UK, a Cellnex company

Paul Coffey

Chief Executive Officer, Scotland 5G Centre

Senior speaker confirmed from BT

Robert Driver

Head, UK5G

Dr Howard Benn

VP Communications Research, Samsung Electronics

Adrian Hazon

VP, 5G Global Product Sales, Nokia

James Sullivan

Senior Research Fellow, Head of Cyber Research, Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi

The City of Wolverhampton’s Digital Innovation Councillor Champion

Dr Helen Weeds

Senior Consultant, Charles River Associates; Academic Panel Member, Competition and Markets Authority and Regulatory Challenge Panel Member, National Infrastructure Commission

Dr Dritan Kaleshi

Head of Technology (5G) and 5G Fellow, Digital Catapult