Testbeds & trials

Liverpool 5G Create

  • Started on 1 Aug 2020

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  • Total project value: £7,146,261
  • DCMS funding: £4,302,596
  • Project location: North West

Building a 5G network designed to benefit local NHS, social care services and other public bodies in a post-Covid-19 world. It will use private 5G networks to develop affordable connectivity for remote health and social care, improving future resilience and reducing inequalities that arise from lack of affordable access. This builds on the existing 5GTT funded project in Liverpool and develops the commercial business case for and testing new applications in the health and social care sector. The project will stimulate the development of low-cost 5G technology as well as improving future pandemic resilience and reducing inequalities.

The Liverpool 5G Create project will develop a private 5G network for health, social care and education services in selected areas of Liverpool. This network will reduce digital poverty for vulnerable people, providing safe, free and accessible connectivity to these services via 5G. We look forward to working with DCMS to take the project from small scale to a wider rollout for the benefit of the people of Liverpool and to inform the national strategy for digital health, social care and education services.

Professor Joe Spencer, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, University of Liverpool, 

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About this Project

Liverpool 5G Create is creating a private, independent network designed to deliver public services in health, social care and education. The project will reduce digital poverty for those in need, providing safe, free and accessible connectivity to health, social care and education services. This work builds on the previous 5G Health and Social Care Testbed, increasing the area covered, upgrading the network technology and trialing new use cases.

The current pandemic has led to an increase in remote services and has highlighted the impact of digital poverty on health inequalities, and the need for equal access to technology across different communities. By providing free, reliable connectivity - a key barrier to the adoption of technology in public services - the project will demonstrate the benefits of affordable connectivity to those for whom data charges and current connectivity costs are prohibitive, whilst reducing costs and saving clinician time for stretched healthcare services like the NHS. In addition, 1.7 million people in the UK rely on analogue telephone services, which will be switched off in 2025. Liverpool 5G Create can plug that gap and create an efficient replacement.

The health, social care and education applications have measurable social benefits, with Use Cases including remote GP consultations, a remote urine monitoring tool, a device to diagnose and monitor pressure ulcers, and telehealth services that improve services for users, whilst reducing costly home visits from healthcare providers.

Developing a private, independent 5G network means: the network can be designed to provide the Service Level needed for Health, Social Care & Education applications; connectivity can be provided with no charge to the resident, democratising public services; health services can access the network for free, or less than they currently pay, freeing up money for frontline services; and digital services that save both time and money for public services can be used.

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