Launching 5G is happening sooner than you might think :
It should come as no surprise that BT is one of the participants in these tests … with a potential 5G launch in late 2019, in advance of the 2020 date set out in the UK government’s 5G strategy. Treason is being committed – 15,000 trees being lost in Sheffield alone. Millions nationwide.
Sheffield City Council is calling on local business to strengthen its bid to become a UK 5G testbed.
The bid, which is being led by Sheffield City Council’s Director of Business Change and Information Solutions, Mark Gannon, is in partnership with nearby Rotherham Council and covers both city centres as well as the urban conurbation between them.
Gannon is calling for local companies and organisations to provide letters of support which can be submitted with the funding proposal. The more local backing he receives, the stronger the cities’ case will be, Gannon says.
Sheffield and Rotherham are pitching for a share of the £200 million the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has made available for the Urban Connected Communities Project, as part of the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme.
Each project stands to receive up to £100 million in funding over three years. The money will come from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).
Ingredients for success
Gannon commented: “We believe that our bid has a number of unique elements that would make it particularly attractive to government, including strong existing local partnership working in the digital and technology areas, an existing digital multi-sector coalition (‘dotSHF’), two top-class universities, an Advanced Manufacturing District and a track record of supporting creativity and innovation.”
Gannon encourages local companies to send letters which outline their support of the bid and why they believe it will be beneficial for the area. He also wants details of how the 5G testbed initiative would benefit their organisation through, for instance, increasing productivity or efficiency, accelerating growth or solving social challenges. Finally, companies should note how they could help to make the project a success – through providing funding, expertise or assets, for example.
June 7 deadline
The letters need to be signed by the most senior person in the organisation to prove that the initiative has support at the highest level within companies in the area, therefore increasing its chance of success.
The DCMS competition closes on June 12 and Gannon is encouraging business to submit their letters by June 7. They will be added to the Sheffield-Rotherham bid’s appendix and micro-site. Shortlisted applicants will be notified by June 26, DCMS says.
The first demo (first part of video above) showed how an autonomously controlled drone can deliver supplies to a pre-set location. The drone is sent instructions over an ultra-high-speed, low latency 5G connection. Ericsson’s federated network slicing global solution has been implemented between the BT and Verizon networks.
The drone confirms the mission has been received before being launched remotely. It then operates autonomously, managed by a software control system, and is guided by markers on the ground to the supply drop location.
This could be a life-saving way to get for example food or medical supplies to people in need when it’s not viable for manned vehicles to reach them.
The second demo (second part of video above) showcased a video application for locations which are considered too dangerous or remote to reach. The drone can provide video surveillance and real-time streaming to enable experts back at the command centre to assess the scene and act accordingly. In this case, the drone uses the same 5G radio connection as in the first demo, but it connects to Verizon’s US network to receive details of the mission. This shows how networks can be temporarily deployed abroad in disaster situations.
In this case, the drone doesn’t land but hovers, gathers video surveillance, sends footage to the command centre and then returns to its base.
The 5G solution’s high bandwidth is critical, as it’s needed to keep the drone flying safely at the same time as streaming video. In locations such as these, weather conditions could change quickly. The low latency connection enables the drone to make the necessary flight adjustments to land even if, for example, the wind gets stronger.
Launching 5G sooner than you might think
It should come as no surprise that BT is one of the participants in these tests, as the company is seemingly well on the way to having a live 5G network, having recently suggested it could be the first off the blocks in the UK with a potential 5G launch in late 2019, in advance of the dates stated by operators such as Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom and ahead of the 2020 date set out in the UK government’s 5G strategy.