Major Midlands train station’s 5G first
Written by: Philip Mason | Published:

Birmingham New Street has become the first train station in the UK to test 5G, with technology provided by Vodafone as part of a city-wide trial.

According to the company, the roll-out took place on the New Street concourse. Users have included members of the public, as well as the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.

Speaking of the trial, Anne Sheehan, director of Vodafone Business said: “We are delighted to bring 5G to the West Midlands, giving businesses, residents and visitors fast and reliable connectivity, even in exceptionally busy locations such as train stations and airports.

“5G will enable new applications and experiences, and support the development of connected cities and smart transport solutions. It will help businesses to implement emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and robotics.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “I am delighted that Vodafone has brought 5G to Birmingham, and that New Street is the UK’s first 5G-enabled rail station. When I was managing director at John Lewis, we saw online shopping transform the retail industry. I believe the West Midlands 5G project will enable our businesses, hospitals, public transport and universities to explore new services and stay ahead of their competition.”

A statement released by Vodafone says that the company is also rolling out 5G to a number of “key commuter locations” across the UK across the rest of this year, with what it refers to as the “new network” being switched on in 19 towns and cities by the start of 2020.

The region will also be witness to the government-funded West Midlands Urban Connected Communities 5G project, the intention of which is to create the UK’s first region-wide 5G test bed. This too will roll-out in 2019.

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