The pressure of the current climate amidst the backdrop of Covid-19 has forced unprecedented demand upon technology and the next few years will see technological changes scarcely witnessed before. As infrastructure, working practices and automation all develop beyond recognition, one common thread will run through the core of innovation across every sector: the need for superfast broadband to connect businesses, employees and consumers.
That’s why the launch of a new 5G accelerator at Innovation Birmingham, the UK’s largest campus dedicated to digital technology businesses, is so important, as Dr David Hardman, managing director for Bruntwood SciTech in Birmingham, explains.
It won’t be news to anyone that the coming years will see technological shake ups across most of the UK’s biggest industries. Whether that comes through self-driving cars, automation in factories or a complete overhaul of how we watch the latest films is a moot point. What’s clear is that the business landscape we’re so accustomed to today will witness radical changes tomorrow. But underpinning all of this will be a dependence on superfast internet to connect businesses, workers, consumers and governments.
5G – the natural, superfast successor to today’s ubiquitous 4G – will be pivotal. Its benefits go beyond providing superfast streaming services and will prove a vital cog in the technological revolution. That’s why we’re so proud to be providing a home for 5PRING, a 5G accelerator programme that is the UK’s first region-wide testbed, at the Innovation Birmingham campus.
It comes after West Midlands 5G (WM5G) Limited awarded the contract to build 5G accelerators in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry to a consortium of Telefonica UK (O2), Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult.
WM5G is backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the West Midlands Combined Authority, and earlier today, we welcomed mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street to the campus to host the live streamed launch event where businesses from the region shared their visions for a 5G future.
The launch marks the first of three accelerators to be rolled out by the consortium this year, with two more following in Wolverhampton and Coventry. Each will provide offices and demonstration spaces with access to the latest 5G technology, enabling businesses and public sector organisations to experiment with features that aren’t yet commercially released. This will be combined with the launch of new devices, professional advice and technical support.
By using the accelerators, businesses and public sector organisations will be able to explore the potential benefits the technology can bring to their organisation and work with other businesses via new applications and services.
At least 2,000 private sector businesses and public sector organisations from across the West Midlands will benefit from the accelerators over the next five years. Unlike pre-existing research and development facilities, 5PRING is designed to attract businesses and entrepreneurs to solve major problems and opportunities that can be commercially scaled, when proven.
For further details and how to engage with the accelerators please visit: https://5pring.org/