UK's 5G Create launched with £28.3m budget

13 January 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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The UK government has launched nine projects as part of a £28.3 million joint investment between government and businesses.

5G Create is a series of projects intended to test how the country can seize the full benefits of 5G and help British industries capitalise on the power of modern technology.

The projects – including Three UK's 5G and IoT connectivity project at the Port of Felixstowe – will include improving the "fan experience" at the O2 Arena and MK Dons stadium, trialling 5G-powered cargo ports and boosting tourism sites such as the Eden Project.

More than half of the projects will use new Open RAN technology as the government drives greater diversification in the 5G supply chain.

The UK's minister for digital infrastructure, Matt Warman, said: "5G is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives.

"The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic," Warman added.

One of the nine projects will see Sir David Attenborough take to 5G for the first time to show people the wonders of the natural world – albeit in holographic form.

Through a new augmented reality (AR) app, released alongside upcoming BBC series The Green Planet, viewers will be able to stream a high resolution ‘holographic’ video of Sir David while looking at the "meticulously detailed" graphics of exotic plants and animals.

Warman explained: "5G Create is about exploring new and inventive ways we can use 5G to give British industries a competitive advantage. This cutting-edge app, fronted by broadcasting legend Sir David Attenborough, is set to be an inspiring example of how new technology can reconnect us with the natural world whilst demonstrating the power of 5G to a huge new audience."

Trials will also explore how 5G can support the construction industry: testing 5G-powered cameras, drones and sensors at BAM Nuttall’s construction sites in Kilsyth, Glasgow and Shetland.