The next chapter in the exciting ‘G’ series is coming to the West Midlands, along with 50 million quid.
Following on from 4G, itself preceded by 3G, 5G will, it is said, offer even faster connection speeds to the millions of Facebook checkers, Twitter twitterers and LinkedIn posers throughout the UK.
And the lucky old West Midlands is to host the first multi-city 5G test bed, trialling the tech before a future rollout across the country – unless it all goes wrong, of course, in which case I guess they’ll just skip to 6G?
The pilot will see hubs set up in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, with the first of a series of projects expected to go live early next year.
The slightly over-excitable Margot James, minister for digital, said: ‘5G has the potential to dramatically transform the way we go about our daily lives, and we want the citizens of the UK to be amongst the first to experience all the opportunities and benefits this new technology will bring. The West Midlands Testbed, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, will be instrumental in helping us realise this ambition.’
The Department Culture, Media and Sport’s £50 million in funding for the project is coming from the £200m the government has assigned to develop 5G technologies.
Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, is very pleased with the developments, which have moved him to the following words: ‘This announcement is game-changing for the West Midlands economy. This will be the backbone of our future economy and society.
‘We have been working to put the foundations in place to grow the industries which will create the jobs of the future, particularly around driverless vehicles and life sciences where we have a genuine advantage. To deliver the future of these industries we need the power of 5g.’