Over 100 members have been recruited and each group has already completed its inaugural meeting, notes of which can be located on the relevant WG page on the UK5G website.
The purpose of each UK5G working group is to understand specific needs and challenges in the UK’s 5G eco-system and to develop practical ways of overcoming these over 12-18 months. They form an essential part of UK5G’s mission to drive the promotion of research, collaboration and commercial application of 5G in the UK. Members have been announced for the following:
- Local Enterprise Partnerships & SMEs (view WG members)
- Connected Places (view WG members)
- International (view WG members)
- Testbed & Trials Review (view WG members)
- Manufacturing (view WG members)
- Creative Industries (view WG members)
Each working group is steered by a chair and co-chair or deputy chair from the UK5G Advisory Board. This Advisory Board provides Government with expert feedback from industry, highlighting priorities and advising on future investment areas. Rosalind Singleton, Advisory Board Chair and Managing Director for UK Broadband, announced plans to extend the Advisory Board with smaller steering teams at the beginning of this year and comments on the launch: “It made perfect sense for UK5G to shape this collective of cross industry experts; knowledge transfer is crucial as we’re expected to provide a wide view of 5G development across a number of sectors.
I’m really pleased with the calibre of expertise and reach these working groups have to offer.”
WM5G is accelerating the adoption of 5G technology to bring opportunities and improvements to the West Midlands and ultimately share learnings and learn from others to support the wider UK roll-out. Lesley Holt, WM5G Stakeholder Engagement Lead, commented: “We work closely with UK5G and sitting on 4 of the newly established working groups affords us the opportunity to engage with the wider 5G community in areas that align with our work streams.
As a regional testbed we are already working in partnership with the local authorities and LEPs in the West Midlands but understanding the regional issues and joining up in the national context will be really important both from a relationship and a place context.”
5G technology is expected to boost the UK economy by up to £15.7bn by 2025 and much of this will come from small and medium enterprises located in innovative regions across the UK. This dramatic change in landscape is a core reason why UK5G has created the Working Groups. Keith Robson, Executive Secretary, ERA Foundation Ltd, Chair of the LEPs and SMEs Group, commented: “UK5G is supporting a working group which will focus on engagement with SMEs and Local Enterprise Partnerships in England and similar bodies in Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
The aim of the working group is to accelerate the transfer of knowledge from leading UK testbed and trials projects sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport into new regions and a range of important sectors, including Healthcare, Industry 4.0, Rural and Transport.”
Dr Rick Robinson, Digital Property and Cities Leader, Arup and Group Chair for Connected Places comments: “There is, understandably, a huge level of interest in 5G; however, its deployment and adoption will take real time and effort.
I’m excited that the Connected Places Working Group will offer valuable insights and support to local authorities, businesses and communities in collaborating with the mobile industry to deliver services which will ultimately be integral to their future.”
In order to make 5G a success the UK will need to collaborate to share knowledge and prepare for the future, “UK5G does this,” comments Dr Mike Short CBE, Chief Scientific Adviser; Co-Chair of the International Working Group.
“With new technology the benefits need to be well understood and deployed with care. Investment risks are high but new opportunities are emerging. We must also learn from other international pioneers. 5G will not be a standalone success with network technology alone – customer care, marketing partnerships and added value services will all be critical factors.”
Deputy Chair of the Creative Industries Group, Dr Alex Connock, Academic and Entrepreneur in digital content, commented:
“5G offers an opportunity for reinvention of formats and storytelling across creative industries from live TV to music festivals, via interactive streaming dramas and radical new ways of showing sport. We are here to help pull together the best of those opportunities and facilitate the UK in becoming a 5G world leader in the 2020s.”
The progress of each working group will be reviewed twice-yearly at the full UK5G Advisory Group meetings. If you'd like to be kept up-to-date with working group progress, register for the UK5G newsletter here.