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5G RuralDorset

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  • Size: Sub-national UK public sector

We aim to show how 5G can make Dorset a better place to live, work and visit. 

This £9 million research and development project will contribute to the understanding of how 5G can be used to address some specific challenges – public safety, economic growth, food production and environmental – as well as create new opportunities in Dorset and rural communities across the UK.

We believe that people living in rural communities like Dorset need and deserve access to the benefits of next generation connectivity just as much as those living in the towns and cities.  In the past, it has been very challenging for network operators to serve rural places like Dorset with our smaller population and beautiful, but challenging environment.

By showing new ways of deploying mobile connectivity, the uses of 5G and the potential demand in rural communities, we will support the UK5G market to speed up its ability to serve places like rural Dorset.

5G RuralDorset is running four research and development work projects with other supporting work running in parallel. Our main areas of interest are;

  • Future of Food. We are trialling uses of 5G connectivity in agriculture and aquaculture to increase productivity and reduce environmental impact.
  • Innovation Accelerator. Advanced 5G mobile connectivity has been provided at the heart of Dorset Innovation Park, a Local Enterprise Zone and advanced-engineering centre which already supports large and small companies that develop innovative connected products and services.
  • Rural Community Accelerator. Based on the Lulworth Estate, we are using new mobile services to unlock social and commercial benefits.
  • Connected Coast. Connectivity along the coast can often be poor which hampers emergency response. This research area focuses on improving public coastal safety by increasing access to digital communication services for first responder organisations such as the RNLI and investigates possible use cases with emergency services.
  • Coastal Cliff Monitoring. We have expanded our project activities to monitor land stability and cliff movement at key points along the Jurassic Coast. In order to deliver this research we have brought the British Geological Society (BGS) into the project as a new partner who will work alongside Vodafone, Bournemouth University, Neutral Networks and Dorset Council. The work trial will deploy 5G connected NBIoT sensors to collect data, including acceleration and temperature, which will then be processed and analysed in the cloud for interpretation by BGS experts.
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