How can we become winners now that we've "won" the 5G trial?

(Richard Wallman) #1

This was posted to Slack:

Given the size and “importance” of the project, it’s extremely likely that everything will be run through the same multinational companies, who are likely to use their normal (non-regional) resources to deliver. Maybe we’ll see a bit of trickle-down of that £75m being spent on smaller projects using regional companies, but I’m expecting that we (as a region) are not going to actually directly enjoy a great deal of that £75 million.

What is does provide, however, is an opportunity to surf on the publicity and promote the region as an area of vibrant technological development. Money follows money, so what can we all do the try and attract investment in the region, rather than just in the region?

(Stuart Langridge) #2

I don’t have a very good sense of what’s actually involved in this trial; does anyone know?

Anyway, I asked Andy Street on Twitter about this point, so maybe he’ll respond…

(Andy Wootton) #3

It was on the Midlands BBC thing this evening. It involves new phones (no explanation) and 5G masts. I’ve always been surprised at the awful signal I get near the BT Tower. Video streaming to ambulances was mentioned. Handy when you can’t get to see a GP for 2 weeks so get so ill there isn’t time to get you to hospital. Coping with fewer specialists in hospitals is probably more realistic, with robotic operations. ‘Our Bob’ used the phrase “the health industry”.

They warned it could take 5 years to roll out into the sticks. This is sad because avoiding travel and allowing the Brum goodness to be shared would be very useful to us in the ‘outlying regions’. Cheaper labour and housing for employees, reduction of pressure on housing and prices, cheaper data centres etc. The tech might even be ready for the tele-cottage idea of the 80s/90s, when it wasn’t. That evolved into tele-offices with normal office facilities provided. I went to one in a school in Staffordshire Moorlands.

I wonder what the business need was to make this the best value investment. I don’t remember any of us mentioning this as a key infrastructure need. I guess the buses, trains and motorway gantries will be able to stream too. Oh good.

(Greg Robson) #4

Not so sure that “video streaming” is a great selling point - you can get quite a decent feed with 4G these days.

5G frequencies are even more focused than 4G meaning that there’s a greater chance of non-5G spots. Ordnance Survey are now making 3D maps of built up areas to make modelling of antennae positions and their coverage.

I do hope that some of this tech might be trialled in areas with really bad broadband due to exchange distance and/or poor copper. A 5G mast in a small town might be able to provide a lot of people with the opportunity to work from home for the first time (or watch a YouTube video without buffering).

In any case, the more bandwidth the better. Tesla are showing that connected vehicles will become the norm in the near future with over-the-air features such as reporting car status in an emergency. Once day a remote operator might be able to activate the cameras???