5G to reimagine construction
By planning 5G in from the start of a construction project, AMC2 will provide connectivity in a new way. There are two sites to be deployed, both in private stand alone 5G, both using n77 shared-access licence spectrum.
The project lead is BAM Nuttall. A major construction company which is part of Royal BAM group which employs 20,000 people with a turnover of £7bn. It is a leader in the use of digital solutions to collaborate, innovate and create sustainable enviroments. Nuttall dates back to 1865 and its projects include the iconic Royal Liver Building in Liverpool.
The other members of the small consortium are AttoCore and the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Attocore is a small, Cambridge-based developer of advanced mobile network core technologies. It is also working on the Bristol-based logistics 5G Create project.
The BRE comprises an innovative group of researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians working to improve the built environment for all. Its independent research is used to create the products, standards and qualifications that help to ensure that buildings, homes and communities are safe, efficient, productive, sustainable and enjoyable places in which to be.
The project seeks to lead in vendor diversification with core, radio and devices sourced from new and innovative companies.
The first site for the project is at the BAM Nuttall regional office in Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire in Scotland. Mobile coverage there is poor, particularly indoors.
The second site is significantly more remote: a construction project in Shetland, where BAM Nuttall is working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks on a major link to connect the islands to the UK mainland electricity grid. This project aims both to ensure the security of the island’s electricity supply and to enable green power projects to feed into the British transmission system. This is in line with the Government’s recently announced 2030 target of reducing carbon emissions by 68%.
Colin Evison, Head of Innovation at BAM Nuttall, told us: “We are really excited to join the 5G Create programme and have the opportunity to further develop our digital capability, which will help us in our mission to build sustainable environments that enhance people’s lives. We believe the project outcomes will benefit our business and the wider construction industry in its drive to improve productivity.”
The Create project seeks to explore and develop 5G-enabled data-rich solutions that, when integrated with existing construction data-management systems, enable the collection, analysis and use of data to maximise productivity of construction processes. The project will deploy a number of exemplar solutions including cameras, drones, mixed reality and IoT sensors to monitor the construction process and track assets. The tracking will use the features in 3GPP release 16 of the 5G standard, which give enhanced positioning of better than 3m indoors and 10m outdoors. It’s a tight specification and will be challenging for the radio access network.
The aim is that the project will be an enabler for digital solutions that improve construction productivity within BAM Nuttall and the wider UK construction industry. Helping to connect green power from far-flung parts of the UK is just an additional bonus.
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