Watch Chris Halpin's video news report on the 5G testbed below:
- The West Midlands will be the first place in the UK to trial high speed 5G connectivity across multiple cities.
- The hubs in Brmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton will pave the way for the future rollout of 5G across the UK.
- Ideas for the trial include: connected ambulances where paramedics can live stream patient data to the hospital or seek expert advice via video link; intelligent cameras which react to incidents in public spaces; and futuristic autonomous vehicles.
What is 5G?
It stands for 5th generation of mobile networks - the first was of course 1G - which just allowed voice calls.
What does it do?
Much faster data download and upload speeds - some are saying as much as 100 times faster, wider coverage, and more stable connections.
What are the benefits?
It could open up new opportunities in:
- Autonomous cars, which will need to be constantly connected to the internet
- The Internet of Things devices - like smart fridges and lights
- Virtual reality experiences
- Drone transportation and monitoring
- Industry - medical operations could be done from miles away via robots
The £75 million trial will be carried out in the health, construction and automotive sectors, with the aim of boosting economic growth and modernising public services.
Plans in the West Midlands include:
- Hospital outpatient appointments and emergency consultations could be carried out remotely by video link without disrupted connections.
- Connected ambulances - paramedics could access specialist advice while they are at the scene via video link and livestream patient data back to hospitals as they travel.
- Live streaming of CCTV footage from public spaces like buses to identify potential incidents, from more places than at present.
- Autonomous vehicle development.