Your fortnightly UK5G update
Welcome to the UK5G newsletter; your fortnightly update on 5G events, news and updates around the UK testbeds and trials programme.
Made in 5G – 5G for Manufacturers
Intro by Dr Dritan Kaleshi, Head of Technology (5G) & 5G Fellow, Digital Catapult
It is a privilege, to write this opening note to this UK5G newsletter, in full recognition of the very central role that UK5G has taken in the 5G UK ecosystem, and rightly so.
It is also a pleasure to write this note now, as 5G now is a reality in the UK. With EE and Vodafone launching their consumer 5G service offering, and with 5G service launches by O2 and 3 expected later on this year, the UK is one of the first countries in Europe and the world launching 5G service.
The accelerated start of the 5G deployment is, of course, primarily due to the great drive of the mobile network operators in the UK to offer the best possible technology and service to their customers. But I cannot help thinking that, to a significant extent, this acceleration is also due to the UK Government decision in 2017 to consider 5G as a key digital infrastructure enabler to its Industrial Strategy vision, and to establish the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme to both raise the awareness of the opportunity and to enable earlier adoption of 5G.
With the 5G consumer service launch comes a question that we, the 5G Programme at Digital Catapult, have been asked several times already: what next, now that 5G is done?
First, 5G is not done. Far from it – and this looking beyond the next 5G standard (3GPP Release 16) in March 2020, which will define the massive IoT and ultra-low latency features of the 5G. The real promise of 5G is in unlocking opportunities to make our businesses work better through enabling new digital technologies. We must look beyond 5G delivering only a better consumer mobile service. 5G success will largely be how well its fundamental design characteristics that make it a very flexible network infrastructure are adopted by businesses. 4G changed our social lives – 5G should pave the way to changes of our economic activities.
In this context, Digital Catapult has focused on how 5G can be adopted purposefully and meaningfully in vertical industries, land established a working programme towards Industrial 5G. One of our first steps was the launch on 2nd July 2019 of our Made in 5G – 5G for the UK manufacturing sector paper. This discussion paper, written with and for manufacturers, looks towards Industrial 5G – well beyond the consumer 5G services, a space where 5G aims to offer the features of greatest value to business through supporting massive IoT, ultra-low latency, service virtualisation and edge compute.
The report, working with great manufacturing industry representation, identified a considerable gap in knowledge and understanding in the industry around the potential value of 5G, and the fact that 5G could be so much more than just faster mobile.
The challenge is how to address this knowledge gap and make sure that the UK manufacturing industry takes now the informed decisions on 5G adoption, alongside other wireless technologies, that can lead them to invest and build the right infrastructure that will underpin their digital transformation. This is not an easy task; it requires a coalition of the willing and sustained resource – to look beyond the point when some think that 5G is done.
This UK journey towards Industrial 5G – a conceptual focal framework of how to build 5G infrastructure fit for digitalisation of vertical industries – is now going to benefit from funding of up to £40M as part of the 5G Sectors Testbeds and Trials Programme, as announced by DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Right at 5G World on 12 June. Digital Catapult is working with DCMS 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme to coordinate this activity until 2022, and it is currently running several roundtables this July (11th Sheffield, 12th Coventry, 15th London, 17th Lancaster, 22nd Glasgow, and 24th Southampton).
No, 5G is not done yet. There is still a lot of work to be done to make it the success it was promised.
Upcoming 5G Events
12th July | 5G Manufacturing & Logistics Testbeds & Trials funding roundtable (Coventry)
15th July | Policy Briefing on how 5G can benefit the manufacturing and logistics sector (London)
16th July | 5G: Revolution or Evolution - an event by Rise (London)
17th - 18th July | Unbound London - UK5G50 for half price tickets
17th July | 5G Manufacturing & Logistics Testbeds & Trials funding roundtable (Lancaster)
22nd July | 5G Manufacturing & Logistics Testbeds & Trials funding roundtable (Glasgow)
23rd July | 5G Manufacturing & Logistics Competition Briefing (London)
24th July | 5G Manufacturing & Logistics Testbeds & Trials funding roundtable (Southampton)
25th July | Developing IoT Tech in the 5G Era: Talks by Nokia, Telit and Sierra Wireless (London)
RESOURCE: Interim final report available for download
This interim final report covers two critical strands of the 5GRIT project associated with monitoring and evaluation.
EVENT: 5G Manufacturing & Logistics Competition Briefing 23rd July
This event will be of benefit to organisations looking to understand 5G in the manufacturing & logistics space.
JOB: Non Executive Directors required
WM5G Ltd are seeking three new Non-Executive Directors to join WM5G’s Board.
RESOURCE: Slides available
In order to help define how RCC can most effectively do this, DCMS, working with UK5G, ran five UK-wide workshops in June 2019. CW is the lead partner in UK5G, and delivery partner KTN is driving these events.
Recent UK5G members include...