After OnTheWight revealed that council was supporting a consortium bidding for a 5G testbed licence for the Isle of Wight, there’s been an interest in the outcome of the DCMS’ decision of where those trials would occur. Today the UK 5G test-bed bid winners have been published.
Below are the six winning bids that will share the £25m funding and a summary of what they hope to explore:
5G RuralFirst: Rural Coverage and Dynamic Spectrum Access Testbed and Trial
Based primarily on the Orkney Islands, and in the farmlands of Shropshire and Somerset, the project will integrate spectrum sharing strategies for 5G; bringing connectivity to rural communities, enabling smart farming in partnership with Agri-Epi Centre (including drones, autonomous farm vehicles and remote veterinary inspections); innovative methods of delivering broadcast radio over 5G working with the BBC, alongside the delivery of 5G connectivity for IoT in utility and other industries in rural areas.
5G Smart Tourism
This testbed will focus on delivering enhanced visual experiences for tourists using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology in major attractions in Bath and Bristol, including the Roman Baths and Millennium Square.
Worcestershire 5G Consortium – Testbed and Trials
This will focus on ways to increase industrial productivity through preventative and assisted maintenance using robotics, big data analytics and AR over 5G. It will also have a cyber security aspect, with QinetiQ providing assurances on the ‘security by design’ of 5G and IoT technology.
Liverpool 5G Testbed
Sensor City will lead a consortium made up of public sector health suppliers, the NHS, university researchers, local SMEs and a leading UK 5G technology vendor. Funded for one year in the first instance, the project will see high value technologies including low-cost open source 5G networks, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and IoT deployed across deprived communities in the Liverpool City Region test bed. The consortium will use this technology to reduce the digital divide, while measuring the impact on patient monitoring and support, management of loneliness in older adults, aid to independents living in the home and the facilitation of communication between hospitals and the community.
AutoAir: 5G Testbed for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
AutoAir will aim to make 5G technologies available for the validation and development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) at the UK’s premiere vehicle proving ground at Millbrook. Fast travel speeds complicate cell-tower handoff, and autonomous vehicles will require more network bandwidth than is available currently. It will also investigate how these 5G connectivity solutions could be transferable to both road and rail transportation.
5G Rural Integrated Testbed (5GRIT)
5GRIT will be trialling innovative use of 5G technology across a range of rural applications, such as smart agriculture, tourism and connecting poorly-served communities, using shared spectrum in the TV bands and a mix of local ISPs and self-provision.
And the Isle of Wight?
So, in summary, the Isle of Wight bid wasn’t successful.