Testbeds & trials (other projects)

5G Smart City Project

  • Started on 1 Dec 2019

Register for free to get updates to this project in your inbox.



Superfast ‘5G’ mobile internet is the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity, which promises much faster data download and upload speeds, as well as more stable connections and wider coverage than ever before.

Sunderland image

As we continue to consume more data every year, particularly as video and music streaming increases, existing spectrum bands are becoming more congested and less reliable, which leads to breakdowns in service.

5G enables far more devices to access the mobile internet at the same time whilst offering download speeds 10 to 20 times faster than we have now.

Communicating wirelessly with each other over 5G networks offers numerous benefits from glitch-free mobile videos, to clearer video calls with less delays and greater social connectivity for otherwise isolated individuals and remotely located businesses.


A 5G Project for Sunderland is well underway and designed to deliver superfast internet connectivity to schools, community rooms and numerous areas across the city as we continue to build our reputation as a digitally connected city.

This high-level 5G project will deliver Superfast internet connectivity circa 1Gbps to:

  • Learning environments, starting with a Primary School
  • Two Gentoo tower block community roomsHedworth Court
  • Dock St with Church St North also able to utilise vis shared building access
  • City Centre, on High Street West encompassing the area from Union Street up to Keel Square
  • Event Space, Keel Square


The difference this will make to the lives of individuals across the city as well as companies doing business here is immeasurable.

Everything we do now with smart devices will be better and faster, plus exciting innovations such as AR (augmented reality) and mobile virtual reality, can become a physical existence via faster connections and higher quality outputs.

For people living here, the benefits of 5G internet connectivity bring efficiencies and savings to schools and community rooms, enabling more children and adults to get online faster and with more reliable connections.

This means greater learning opportunities for all, including improved access to universal credits online, as well as   via partners such as Gentoo, adults can also access digital skills training and equipment in their community rooms to boost confidence and knowledge.

Our ‘digital city centre’ with superfast public WiFi opens doors to exciting 5G-enabled events such as gaming events – bringing individuals closer together, both physically and virtually.

With heightened access to a speedy, reliable network to maximise connectivity and global business opportunities; organisations will be equipped to compete on a worldwide scale from right here in Sunderland.

Similarly, our 5G-equipped smart city will be crucial for autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other and read live map and traffic data, ensuring we maximise and leverage opportunities for Sunderland’s residents and business investors alike.

All of this makes our city smarter, to satisfy our growing needs as well as building the foundations for exciting new services and applications that are yet to be built; equipping Sunderland to excel well into the future.


The Smart City Vision for Sunderland is being delivered by a dedicated Programme Office.

Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Digital and Customer Services at Sunderland City Council leads the team with project expertise from Andrew Parsons and Dawn Harrison, plus project support from Janice Ellison.

Additional technical expertise is delivered by field specialists Perform Green who bring digitally inspired change for good – specialists in solving real world challenges through the deployment of digital solutions.

All partners work collectively to underpin the Sunderland Smart City vision. Get in touch with the Sunderland Smart City Programme Office to find out more about initiatives and opportunities.

Visit website page

Organisations participating in this project