5G will place Birmingham at the forefront of a digital revolution

November 23, 2018


As Birmingham becomes the first UK 5G testbed – leading regional developer Bruntwood welcomes the opportunities it will present for the city’s thriving business community.


The West Midlands region in the UK is set to host the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed, paving the way for the future rollout of 5G across the nation. There will be a 5G hub in Birmingham as part of the pilot scheme and the rollout will initially focus on the health, construction and automotive sectors. It also aims to help residents to participate in new digital technologies and digitally transformed public services.


Birmingham is a city with innovation and enterprise in its DNA. The ‘Workshop of the World’ creates 70% of the inventions copyrighted in the UK. It’s a place buzzing with originality and initiative – with globally-renowned expertise in coding, software, digital gaming and low carbon technologies.


With this amazing heritage, it’s fitting that Birmingham has been chosen as the UK’s first 5G test bed. This inspiring city will be at the vanguard of a technological revolution that will catapult mobile data to the centre of our daily lives – shaping our working world, creating the jobs of the future and deliver public services more effectively.


The West Midlands will become one of the first locations in Europe to experience the benefits and opportunities 5G will bring having been chosen as the UK’s first 5G area, testing the technology before a national rollout. This globally significant project, receiving up to £75m of public investment will allow the region to further establish its reputation as the home of digitally-powered industries and innovation and ensure that our businesses and talent stay ahead of our global competitors.


Leading regional developer Bruntwood has operated in the city for over 20 years and with a portfolio valued at £180 million in Birmingham, the company is excited about the opportunities that 5G presents for the city’s thriving business community.


Rob Valentine, Director for Birmingham, said: “We’ll see 5G go from buzzword to business case in little over 12 months, and we can’t wait to see the introduction of this new capability ignite and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.


“5G will open up myriad new markets across sectors and drive a step-change in how we work; with seamless connectivity significantly enhancing potential for flexible working and enabling closer collaborations with global partners and customers.


“The test bed will significantly enhance the city region’s inward investment proposition and enable a fantastic combination of high-speed physical connectivity via HS2 alongside seamless mobile connectivity.”


At landmark city buildings including Cornerblock, which aims to set a new standard for workspace in Birmingham, the Grade II listed Cornwall Buildings, the 20-storey Centre City development, and Innovation Birmingham, Bruntwood is proud to be providing state-of-the-art space to innovative, fast-growing businesses which will all derive huge benefit from the competitive advantages created by the test bed.


As the region’s leading location for digital technology businesses, Bruntwood’s Innovation Birmingham development is a thriving hub of over 170 companies and will be among the key locations where 5G will have an immediate commercial impact.


Dr David Hardman MBE, Managing Director of Innovation Birmingham said: “We live in a data-driven world, so 5G is an essential component that will enable real-time innovative delivery to pave the way for the future of our cities. Innovation Birmingham’s focus on supporting the start and growth of innovative digital businesses is also about helping prepare the economy for what’s coming. Early access to 5G will help our businesses gain a competitive advantage as they deliver innovative new products and services, enhancing the economy in the most innovative ways possible.


“Implementing 5G throughout current campus infrastructure will enable the campus to expand and ensure strategic positioning. This will help bolster our position in the city’s Knowledge Quarter and enable better links between Curzon and Birmingham Eastside and London.


“Launching 5G in Birmingham will ensure that our brightest innovators are being supported in a community with the best tech infrastructure. Emerging technologies, connected autonomous vehicles and the myriad of sensors supporting the Internet of Things revolution that powers a smart city all require 5G support. I am sure that the diverse community of over 1,000 campus entrepreneurs and techies will see opportunities enabled by 5G.”


Rob Valentine said: “Having early access to 5G will put us ahead of the game; and enable the Innovation Birmingham Campus to become a sandpit to trial new tech reliant on high speed mobile connectivity. This ultimately enhances the city’s visibility as a digital technology leader and will attract the most promising growing businesses to locate to Birmingham.”


“As our gateway to the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G is set to disrupt and remould the landscape in which we live and do business – boosting efficiency, driving productivity and ultimately, connecting us all better.


“Birmingham already punches above its weight in science and technology and 5G will significantly boost the city’s enviable capabilities. We’re entering a new era where mobile will become a ‘general purpose technology’ as central to our lives at electricity and we are incredibly excited about what the future holds for the city.”



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