PREPARATIONS are under way to prepare Gosport for the future of mobile networks.
Plans have been submitted to the borough council for the installation of 5G antennae on top of the town hall in the high street.
While the antennae will not provide 5G straight away, they will give Gosport instant access to the network once it is switched on.
If the plans are approved, three antennae on the top of Gosport Town Hall will be replaced with 12 upgraded ones, as well as four 600mm satellite dishes.
The network will be accessible to anyone who is on EE or Three.
Leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook, says the upgrade is ‘fantastic news’ for residents and businesses alike.
He said: ‘We’ve always had antennae at the top of the town hall, but these new ones are to ensure that we are ready for the 5G roll-out.
‘It’s not something that will be activated straight away, but when it is launched in the area we will be right on it.’
Mobile Broadband Network Limited, which submitted the application, has said although the 5G network will provide a better bandwidth, the signal will not travel as far – meaning additional telecoms infrastructure may be required.
Cllr Hook added: ‘The important thing is that we keep up-to-date with the latest technological advancements.
‘This will benefit not only members of the public but businesses as well.’
The news comes after Vodafone announced in March that Portsmouth would be part of a nationwide 5G trial this year.
While local authorities grant permission for new antennae, it is the providers that introduce the network.
EE says there is no timescale for when Gosport will be given 5G access.
A spokesman for EE said: ‘We’re upgrading sites in Gosport to continue bringing businesses, residents and tourists the best possible connection and to make sure Gosport is ready for 5G.’
Network provider Huawei has been linked with hundreds of 5G network installations across the UK – a fact seen as controversial by some due to Huawei’s close links with the Chinese government.
Both Huawei and EE were asked for comment on this but neither responded.