5G industry news

Industrial 5G Uncovered: UK5G's top three moments

  • 5 minute read
  • Published by Crispin Moller on 21 Oct 2021
  • Last modified 4 Nov 2021
An overview of the Industrial 5G Uncovered: Spotlight on Innovators webinar

On 19th October, Digital Catapult hosted an information-sharing event to drive industrial 5G adoption in the UK. It focused on open innovation in 5G, shining a spotlight on innovative solutions and approaches enabled by startups and scaleups who have joined the Industrial 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, as well as those taking part in other government-supported 5G initiatives and accelerators such as 5PRING.  

The first online webinar of a four-part series highlighted challenges and lessons learnt from innovators who are collaborating with industry, offering an overview of the benefits and best practices within open innovation, in addition to future opportunities for innovation in smart cities, construction, manufacturing and logistics.

UK5G’s highlights 

1. Accelerating Digital Transformation

Mohammad Lari, Head of Cross-Government and International Coordination, DCMS, said: “We’re seeing the impact that an accelerated digital transformation can provide. This includes everything from how we interact with our healthcare professionals, to the next generation of electric vehicles. We’re tackling global challenges head-on: for example, within the manufacturing, construction and logistics domain we’ve got about eight projects that are facing issues within their global supply chains amid the pandemic.”

He continued: “These challenges are masked with new opportunities in terms of how we slice and share networks, in addition to making the most efficient use of spectrum, resilient and secure networks. It’s about addressing challenges with new solutions.”

2. Spotlight on innovators

AI-controlled Smart Junctions to optimise the road network

Peter Mildon, COO & Co-founder of Vivacity Labs (Smart Junctions), said: “Why 5G?” is the question we often get asked. But for smart junctions, we need a low latency connection. By making the switch to 5G, we are already starting to see latencies around 25 milliseconds and I know a lot of factory-based systems are getting that number down even further. You can see a large saving with 25 milliseconds. It knocks almost a second of the decision-making time."

“In terms of impact, that may not sound like very much but when you take into account that you have about 40,000 vehicles a day crossing that junction 365 days a year, it really does start to add up. You're looking at a £50k productivity saving from that 1.3 seconds of time saved," he added.

3. Industrial 5G Core solutions

Jeff Land, Head of Sales and Business Development, AttoCore (AMC2), said: “One big difference between 4G and 5G is the utilisation of the spectrum. 5G is able to utilise typically up to 100 megahertz, which is four times as much as the equivalent of a simple 4G radio. It gives you a very high data throughput capacity. Combined with its ultra-low latency, this enables businesses to deliver new and innovative services, particularly for industrial and robotics type applications."

He added: "Some of the typical cases that can be supported in private network scenarios include things like smart factories, smart city, and municipalities, transportation and logistics, smart agriculture, for example. If the network's out there in the countryside, it can provide simple connectivity to communities. There is also, of course, the possibility of special events. This could include point of sales, terminals, and security, remote utilities, asset tracking, supporting IoT connectivity, in addition to security, and fire systems connectivity.”

The webinar also featured insights from industry users including Nicholas Zylberglajt from Unmanned Life who discussed the ways in which AI, 5G and autonomous robotics can work together to make smart logistics a reality; Lisa Layzell from Robotiz3D who discussed the automation of road maintenance using 5G connectivity, and Tommy Williams from Plinx who discussed the future of construction connectivity. Digital Catapult panelist Katy Ho was joined for a lively discussion by Adrian Talbot from infrastructure multinational Ferrovial, Colin Evison from civil engineering firm BAM Nuttall, Sam Li from Transport for Greater Manchester, Peter Mildon and Tommy Williams from Vivacity Labs and Plinx respectively, to discuss current and future topics relevant to industry adoption of 5G.

Digital Catapult is a delivery partner for the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s 5G Testbeds and Trials programme and is helping to drive innovative new use cases of 5G in UK industry sectors by coordinating eight projects including 5G Encode, 5GEM UK, 5G Factory of the Future, 5G CAL, 5G Logistics, 5G Ports, AMC2 and Smart Junctions.

The programme sets out to demonstrate the value of 5G beyond enhanced mobile broadband by targeting industry-focused use cases in manufacturing and logistics to:

  • Explore the potential for efficiency and productivity benefits
  • Help make the UK a global leader in the adoption and application of 5G technology
  • Help the UK lead the development of the implementation and standards around 5G

You can watch the recording of the event below: