Welcome to the last UK5G newsletter of 2018; your fortnightly update on 5G events, news and testbeds and trials.
2018 has been an exciting year for the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT) which started off with the completion of 5GUK, the University Test Network. £16 million was awarded to three leading 5G research institutions in the UK - the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey, the University of Bristol and King’s College London - to collaborate together and form a test network to trial 5G technologies and applications across a range of sectors.
The capabilities of the university test network were demonstrated at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February 2018. Further demonstrations of the individual test network capabilities took place in Bristol and the City of London in March 2018. Pictured below: Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, visiting the 5GUK stand at Mobile World Congress in February 2018.
In March, the Government selected six proposals from across the UK as the winners of the first Phase of funding from the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme. These projects were intended to be smaller projects with a big impact across the UK in their year timespan to spearhead efforts to make the UK a world leader in 5G.
From the Orkney Islands to the West of England, the six projects led by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), universities and local authorities represent the best of UK innovation, resources and expertise.
Some of the exciting applications that they will be testing include; smart farming with drones, using the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) to improve healthcare in the home, increasing manufacturing productivity and maximising the future benefits of self-driving cars. Trials have began over the past month in some of the projects. For instance the Smart Tourism project launched their AR tech trial to see the Roman Baths through history and the Worcestershire project have now switched on the first-ever British 5G factory trials by the manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak.
There is more to come in the new year from these and the other projects within Phase 1 so be sure to keep an eye out for updates on the UK5G site.
In September, the 5GTT programme announced the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as the chosen partner location for the Urban Connected Communities project. Pictured above: Margot James and Andy Street at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in September 2018 to hear how 5G technology will improve their services.
WMCA will develop a large-scale 5G pilot across the region, with hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton. This project is currently in the development stages and we expect it to launch in early 2019 and run until 2021. The UCC project will:
- design and install wireless infrastructure in a major city, so that it delivers high quality connectivity and allows new 5G applications to be trialled in a number of sectors;
- allow industry to test different deployment models for 5G infrastructure and help inform the development of policy and regulation to support this 5G deployment;
- support economic growth and improve the quality of life using 5G to meet people's connectivity needs.
The 5GTT programme also published a Programme Update in September, which provides a brief update on the progress made by the Programme and a forward look of planned activities over the next 12 months. My team will be working to deliver that next year.
Ian Smith, Programme Director - 5G Testbeds and Trials, DCMS
We have a number of events live on the website:
30th Jan: The IET 5G Conference, 5G - the Advent
10-11th Apr: 5G Realised delivered by Juliet Media
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