A £30m competition to improve connectivity in countryside communities through 5G technology has been launched.

Up to ten rural locations will be chosen to run trials of 5G applications and stimulate commercial investment in 5G tech.

5G offers mobile speeds 10 to 20 times faster than previous generations.

The Rural Connected Communities competition is the latest wave of £200m funding to pioneer 5G testbeds across the country and deliver the benefits of the highest speeds of mobile connectivity available.

This technology is already being used in the Orkney Islands to remotely monitor salmon fisheries, and in Shropshire via targeted crop-spraying and soil analysis with drones and tractors.

The British countryside has always been a hotbed of pioneering industries and we’re making sure our rural communities aren’t left behind in the digital age.

We’re investing millions so the whole country can grasp the opportunities and economic benefits of next generation 5G technology.

“In modern Britain people expect to be connected wherever they are. And so we’re committed to securing widespread mobile coverage and must make sure we have the right planning laws to give the UK the best infrastructure to stay ahead,” said Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan.

Morgan also said that Britain will make its decision on whether to allow China’s Huawei equipment to be used in its 5G networks in the autumn.

She told BBC radio that decision would be one for the long term, with a view to keeping networks secure.