The UK is seeking to establish itself as a global leader in 5G wireless internet with chancellor Phillip Hammond expected to invite British cities to bid to become test beds for the high-speed standard.
Backed by £700m of public money the new technology promises connection speeds that are up to 100 times faster than existing 4G services – allowing feature length films to be downloaded within seconds.
Such speeds are considered vital for the full implementation of the internet of things which will allow everything from household gadgets to driverless cars to communicate with each other and be controlled remotely.
5G technology is expected to be introduced in phases from 2017 through to 2021 and will entail construction of tens of thousands of new transmitters.
Among the first to benefit from the scheme is the seaside town of Bournemouth where Ordnance Survey has been commissioned to produce the most detailed map of a UK town ever, cataloguing the position of every building, street sign and lamppost with an accuracy measured in millimetres.