Testbeds & trials

5G Wales Unlocked

  • Started on 1 Mar 2020
  • Completed on 1 Apr 2022

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  • Government funding: £5,000,000

  • Project Finished: 1st April 2022

The project will connect rural communities by demonstrating how 5G technology can open up new opportunities for businesses and citizens.

Its focus is centred upon the south east Wales rural region of Monmouthshire and its neighbour Blaenau Gwent. They will innovate in areas such as ‘immersive tourism’ and ‘farming security’ as key parts of the rural economy, whilst leveraging related technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and Cyber Security as part of an as part of an ‘innovation platform’.

Everyone in every industry will feel the positive effects of 5G and we aim to put rural Wales at the front of the queue through our ‘Connected Communities in the Rural Economy’ project.

More about this project

5G Wales Unlocked will deliver the 5G connectivity needed to transform remote businesses, public services and infrastructure in Wales.

In 2019 43% of the Welsh landmass was still without 4G coverage, mainly affecting rural and valley areas.  Our mission is to make the commercial case for investment in 5G connectivity in rural and semi-rural Wales. Accelerating the economic and social opportunities that come from improved infrastructure and effective digital services in remote areas.

The project is led by Welsh Government and involves a consortium of partners that includes Cisco, BT, Cardiff University, Tech Valleys, Monmouthshire County Borough Council, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, UtterBerry, Jam Creative and AppyWay.

The focus of the project is improving the connectivity of rural and valley communities across Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent by demonstrating how 5G connectivity can be a powerful force for good in these areas, opening up new opportunities for businesses and citizens.

The project will focus on four key use case themes:

  • Security and support for farming and other remote businesses.
  • Transport and public services mobility
  • Immersive and connected tourism
  • Education

The 5G Wales Unlocked project will be the first to effectively demonstrate the commercial potential and social impact of increased 5G connectivity in remote areas, and we’re confident that our findings will provide a replicable framework for increased investment by mobile network operators in remote areas.

Below are some images from a recent demo at Raglan Castle.

Kids using tablets to enhance historic visit
Tablet enhancing historic visit

Use of Immersive tech at Raglan Castle enhancing visitor experience

Overview of the project and how it's connecting rural communities

Organisations participating in this project