5G industry news

£220 million funding signals rural connectivity growth

  • 2 minute read
  • Published by Arti Mehta on 26 Sep 2018
  • Last modified 28 Sep 2018
After raising £220 million, the Edinburgh-based Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) is ready to invest in neutral-host, 5G-ready, wireless infrastructure.

The marks a huge step in enabling connectivity in rural and urban areas together with key transport routes across the UK as the new facilities will be targeted on fibre and small cells for better connectivity both inside buildings where 80% of calls are made, and along busy city streets.

Scott Coates, CEO, WIG commented:

Attracting investment with a long-term horizon and neutral-host approach can play a significant role in enabling 5G across the UK.  Recent policy initiatives announced in government’s Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review around lightly licensed spectrum and other innovations opens doors for companies like WIG to work with our mobile operator partners to unlock faster investment and enable improved mobile connectivity.


The investments span 12 years, and investors include three international institutional investors, Met Life, Barings and Vantage, and three UK banks, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review

The review that Coates speaks of was published in July, and proposed changes to ensure: 

  •         The majority of the UK population gets access to 5G
  •         15 million premises are able to connect to full fibre broadband by 2025
  •         Full fibre broadband coverage across all of the UK by 2033

Connecting the country

Over the last year WIG has invested in new infrastructure ranging from communication towers serving rural communities through to high capacity Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) networks in busy city locations such as offices, shopping malls and stadiums, including Liverpool FC’s 54,000 capacity Anfield Stadium.

The company also recently activated the UK’s first fibre-connected small cell network to support C-RAN technology and is a major investor in Midlands Future Mobility – the UK’s largest real-world test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).  The new funding supports further delivery of new infrastructure with a focus on small cells and fibre.