Leading civil engineering contractor BAM Nuttall, in collaboration with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and AttoCore, are the three members.
“This project will publicly define us as digital leaders in our industry and send a clear message to our clients of our commitment to continually improve the delivery of their projects.” says Colin Evison, Head of Innovation at BAM Nuttall.
Increased use of 5G could accelerate a number of important areas for construction: safety, security and productivity; investment in digital skills and knowledge; understanding the technology and its potential; and how to generate and action data. It also opens up potential revenue streams and opportunities for better asset management. AMC2 will also help to grow the UK’s overall technical capability in the field of 5G.
So far, AMC2 has established two private 5G standalone networks. One is in the BAM Nuttall regional office and plant yard in Kilsyth, Scotland. Although not an active construction site, it is being used as a ‘sandbox’ to simulate construction activities combined with 5G connectivity. The other is at BAM Nuttall’s remote Shetland Islands High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Link Project, off the north coast of Scotland. Public cellular coverage is very poor in this location, preventing the use of data applications. The project will provide an electricity transmission connection between the Scottish mainland and the Shetland Isles.
At each site, three masts with 5G radios are connected by fibre optic cables to the comms room, providing complete coverage of each respective site.
These private, standalone 5G networks are an extension of the BAM IT network. They are not connected to a cellular network, for instance from a Mobile Network Operator. It operates on the N77 upper band and AMC2 has a licence issued by Ofcom to operate these. AMC2 is also responsible for the security of data and traffic across the networks.
Partnering with the project, Attocore has provided the core software. The consortium is supported by Accelleran and Benetel, who provided the 5G radio hardware and software. Impleo has designed and installed the 5G network. Partner BRE is providing management and administration support, and will undertake construction productivity assessments.
AMC2 has collaborated globally with organisations to explore and stretch the current capabilities of their products. Examples include Trimble in the USA and Finland, Boston Dynamics in the USA, Doosan in South Korea, and Nokia and Epiroc in Europe.