13:33 05 September 2018
The West Midlands is set to become the first in the UK to trial new 5G applications and services at scale after it was chosen for the UK’s first multi-million pound Urban Connected Communities Project.
The government’s 5G testbed and trials programme will trial new high-speed connectivity across the region, with hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton. The government is set to spend up to £50million for the project, subject to further development and approval of the business plan.
Minister for Digital, Margot James said: “5G has the potential to dramatically transform the way we go about our daily lives, and we want the citizens of the UK to be amongst the first to experience all the opportunities and benefits this new technology will bring. The West Midlands Testbed, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, will be instrumental in helping us realise this ambition.”
“This announcement is game-changing for the West Midlands economy. This will be the backbone of our future economy and society.
“We have been working to put the foundations in place to grow the industries which will create the jobs of the future, particularly around driverless vehicles and life sciences where we have a genuine advantage. To deliver the future of these industries we need the power of 5g.
“The potential of this technology is endless – and we will enjoy the benefits first. From monitoring the health of babies and the elderly, to the way out people are linked to the economy of the future, the way companies do business, the way we deliver public services, the experience of travellers on public transport and the way we deliver City of Culture and the Commonwealth Games – everything can be made better thanks to the power of this technology.”