UK government announces 5G testbed winners
Written by: Philip Mason | Published:

The British government has marked the first anniversary of its digital strategy by awarding £25 million to six projects around the country, in order to help pave the way for future 5G roll-out. Each testbed will receive between £2 million and £5 million from the fund.

The winning projects include: 5G rural first (led by Cisco and the University of Strathclyde); 5G smart tourism (West of England Combined Authority); Worcestershire 5G consortium (Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership); Liverpool 5G (Sensor City); AutoAir 5G testbed for connected and autonomous vehicles (Airspan Communications); and 5G rural integrated testbed (Quickline Communications).

Margot James, minister of state for digital and the creative industries, said: “One year on from the Digital Strategy, we are delivering on our commitments to create a Britain fit for the future, with a thriving digital economy that works for everyone. These ground-breaking projects will help to unlock 5G and ensure the benefits of this new technology are felt across the economy and wider society.”

Speaking in particular of the smart tourism project, West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “Imagine a virtual Roman soldier showing you around the Roman baths. Now imagine this moving 360 degrees on your mobile phone at a resolution you have never experienced before - that’s what 5G technology can offer.

“The 5G smart tourism bid will allow us to trial some exciting technology at our top tourist attractions, whilst looking at wider and longer-term benefits for our region. This new technology holds the key to a more advanced, sustainable and smart future which will revolutionise the way we all live, travel and work.”

The digital strategy was launched in March of last year with the aim - according to the government -of “continually driving the UK’s connectivity, telecommunications and digital sectors.”

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