Sure has begun trialling 5G mobile technology in Jersey today, having invited hundreds of customers to take part in the trial to experience the technology for free, in order to evaluate how it can benefit the our lives. If you’re lucky enough to get the invite, you’ll be downloading a whole series of Netflix for your plane journey, even if you only remember when you’re queuing for the plane.

The local telecoms provider, which is already recognised as having the best rated mobile network in the Channel Islands according to CICRA’s 2018 Telecoms Satisfaction Survey, will be trialling the technology for three months in St Helier to assess how customers will use the transformational technology.

Eligible customers have been contacted directly with details of the trial and those who choose to participate will be given a free 5G router in their home or business.  They will be asked to provide feedback on their experience via a series of 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.

5G is the transformational next generation of mobile technology providing much faster data    speeds, greater network capacity, improved connections, better coverage and lower latency. Sure believes that 5G’s potential is best described as ‘fibre in the air’ as 5G will look to replicate the speeds and reliability of fibre broadband without the need for cables.

The leap from today’s fixed and mobile technology is significant; 5G is 20-40 times faster than the broadband most people currently use at home and work. The additional capacity available with 5G will enable the connection of the rapidly increasing number of digital devices used in the home, on the move and at work.

“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 Graham Hughes, chief executive of Sure in Jersey.

“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.

“For home broadband 5G has the potential to expand the choice available to customers as well as improve the experience and provide better value.”

“We want to launch a considered, ubiquitous 5G network aligned with the States of Jersey’s Telecoms Strategy. Sure fully supports the strategy and we intend to work closely with both the Government and 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 Jersey and we’re excited to be making this significant investment to develop a trial 5G network here.”

Senator Farnham, Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture said: “I welcome the news that Sure is to start testing 5G mobile phone services in St Helier. 5G, together with the island’s existing full-fibre network, will play an important part in delivering the high-quality telecoms infrastructure that our digital services and related industries vitally need to help them achieve productivity-led growth.”

Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, said: “Digital Jersey is delighted to support Sure in its 5G pilot. While people in Jersey already benefit from some of the best mobile and broadband infrastructure in the world, it sends a strong message internationally that we are determined to exploit new opportunities as they come along. We are already working with businesses to help them improve productivity through technology including artificial intelligence and automation, so a homegrown trial of the potential 5G affords Jersey is a timely additional tool in our tech armoury.