Saturday, 23 January 2021

Open RAN features heavily in latest batch of UK govt’s 5G Create projects

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Wednesday 13 January 21

Nine additional 5G trials have been announced as part of the government’s 5G Create funding scheme

Created last year, 5G Create is an open competition created by the government as part of the wider 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme that started in 2018. Companies testing and trialling 5G use cases can apply to receive a share of up to £5 million of a total £30 million prize pool.    The first round of winners were announced last summer and today nine additional companies have secured funding via the competition…

Created last year, 5G Create is an open competition created by the government as part of the wider 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme that started in 2018. Companies testing and trialling 5G use cases can apply to receive a share of up to £5 million of a total £30 million prize pool. 
 
The first round of winners were announced last summer and today nine additional companies have secured funding via the competition.
 
Here is a brief summary of the nine winning projects.
 
    1. Milton Keynes 5G: Testing 5G applications such as driverless shuttles and drones at the Stadium MK.
    2. Eden Universe: The Eden Project in Cornwall will use 5G and 360 degree cameras to enhance remote visitor experiences, as well as enhancing site management. 
    3. Connected Cowes: Aiming to use 5G to stream real-time virtual reality video from aboard racing yachts.
    4. 5G AMC 2: The Accelerate, Maximise and Create for Construction project will use a private 5G networks to enable cameras, drones, mixed reality and IoT sensors to monitor the construction process and track assets.
    5. ‘Live and Wild: Filming with 5G’: The project will test 5G ability to stream video content in extreme locations and weather conditions, particularly for the making of documentaries.
    6. Project Vista: This project focusses on enhancing digital stadium experiences, aiming to demonstrate demand for 5G-powered sporting events.
    7. The Green Planet AR: The project aims to use augmented reality for mobile phones to enhance learning experiences about the natural world, streaming virtual plants and animals in dedicated locations. The project features Sir David Attenborough.
    8. Port of Felixstowe: Deploying a private 5G network in the Port will allow the testing of remote-controlled cranes via the transmission of CCTV and the use of AI and the IoT to optimise the cranes’ maintenance cycles.
    9. 5G Logistics: The project focusses primarily on using 5G and the IoT to assist in the security, traceability, and tracking of goods, including automated barcode recognition.
 
While these nine projects are quite varied, it is interesting to note that five of them will make use of Open RAN technology. This is hardly unsurprising, given the attention the emerging technology has received recently for its ability to help add depth to the country’s telecoms supply chain.
 
In the background to this news, as always in recent months, is the onus being put on 5G to help alleviate the economic pressures from the coronavirus pandemic. The UK’s Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman, said the project would help “innovators explore the huge potential of the technology”, while also noting that they could ultimately help the “put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic”. 
 
 
Also in the news: 

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