Scotland 5G centre goes live with first 5G network

The Scotland 5G Centre has opened its first live 5G private networks, starting with its first rural hub in Dumfries.

This will be followed by Forth Valley going live next month.

Live test beds opening across the regions will allow the S5GConnect programme to accelerate the adoption of 5G across the country.

The Crichton Centre in Dumfries is located in a new collaborative centre for learning and rural innovation serving the South of Scotland.

The live network will offer demonstrations of 5G capability, as well the chance for others to test their own products and services.

Applications on display will include communication through large format holograms, letting people feel physically present with another person in a different location. This ‘holoportation’ technology aims to demonstrate the opportunities for remote healthcare through an immersive and interactive conversation with a clinician in London.

Meanwhile, ‘5G in a box’ will demonstrate a solution for rural areas with poor coverage. The application provides true end-to-end 5G network capability.

Meanwhile, a ‘smart tourism’ augmented reality application will allow visitors to be transported to Cambridge to admire the King’s College Cathedral ceiling mural.

Paul Coffey, chief executive at the Scotland 5G Centre, said: “Our S5GConnect Programme is here to lead the way, a platform for innovation and to accelerate the roll out of digital connectivity by collaborating with the local businesses, academic institutions and partners.

“We are creating opportunities for investors and mobile operators to link with a variety of sectors including manufacturing, logistics, farming and healthcare – this will in turn lead to scaling up and commercialisation to create new skills and jobs and will make a positive and real difference to Scotland’s economy.”

Lara Moloney, head of S5GConnect, added: “Our innovation hubs create an opportunity for partnership and collaboration, allowing businesses from start-ups to established industries, to learn how to utilise 5G and use it to their competitive advantage.

“We have engaged with over 300 businesses in the last 4 months alone and are looking forward to supporting industry further.”

The Scotland 5G Centre was set up in October 2019 as the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G and realising its economic and societal potential for Scotland.

Throughout this year, the centre will continue to roll out its S5GConnect Programme, delivering the next stage of the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy with a series of hubs, supported by a £4m investment from the government.

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