A leading Shropshire telecoms company has welcomed news that the West Midlands has been chosen as a testbed for a multi-million pound trial aimed at paving the way to roll out high-speed 5G across the country.
The Urban Connected Communities Project is the latest step in the Government’s 5G Testbed and Trials Programme designed to bring new high-speed connectivity and will develop a large-scale pilot across the region.
It means the West Midlands will be the first area of the UK to trial new 5G applications and services at scale. The multi-city programme will focus on hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.
David Hayward, managing director of Pure Telecom based in Shrewsbury, today welcomed the news, saying 5G had the capability of completely transforming day-to-day lives.
“We are delighted that this project is now gathering pace and edging us ever closer to a service which will make such a difference to so many people – having high-speed connectivity for all is something the industry has been working towards for some time,” he said.
“The fact that the West Midlands has been chosen to be the first multi-city testbed shows our region is recognised as a leader in technology, innovation and business. It is great for the local economy and the benefits to industry will be invaluable.
“Pure works closely with market leaders in the telecoms industry and is constantly striving to improve connectivity for clients. We will be working with providers to ensure the availability of 5G as soon as is possible, leading to a transformation of business growth.”
Mr Hayward added: “General 5G trials will start at Vodafone, O2 and EE this year, with the latter anticipating a smaller scale commercial deployment beginning toward the end of 2019 (likely to use the recently auctioned 3.4GHz band). We are excited to hear more from the top providers on this announcement soon.
“Up to £50m has been made available for the Urban Connected Communities Project with half coming from Government departments and half from regional partners. There is also the possibility that a further £25m will be made available at a later date.
“The West Midlands Testbed is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and these are exciting times in increasing the benefits and opportunities through this groundbreaking technology.”
The 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, aimed at investing in industries, skills and infrastructure for the future and continuing to drive the UK’s connectivity, digital and telecommunications sectors.