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5G Innovation

Why is 5G important?

Super-fast and ultra-reliable 5G is expected to bring improved connectivity and new opportunities for businesses and society.

This exciting technology could hold the key to a better, more sustainable future for the region.

5G innovation

What is 5G used for?

1G – 4G (G is for ‘generation’) focused on enhanced personal connectivity services and features. 5G is the first ‘G’ for industry and business in general. More than about faster download speeds, it will support communication between the machines that power the Internet of Things (IoT), which depends on large amounts of data to make smart decisions, often in real time.

5G will allow businesses of all sizes to explore new commercial opportunities and the public sector to test new ways of delivering services. This will have a huge impact on people’s lives – supporting everything from assisted living to monitoring and responding to air pollution.

New techniques like network slicing (or the provision of multiple services using one network) allow different services to run simultaneously, prioritising critical services where connectivity cannot be lost – think smart traffic management or emergency services.

Kids looking at phones and holding 5G Smart Futures brochure
Lorries on the motorway
Kid with Airbus tablet
Port containers
Fireman using a tablet

5G testbeds and projects

The West of England wants to be a smart region and is already home to the largest cluster of digital expertise outside of London. The region’s businesses and universities are at the forefront of innovation in next-generation communications networks, including 5G.

In collaboration with the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet lab, the West of England Combined Authority is trialling new applications of 5G through innovative ‘testbeds’ – in conjunction with business around the region.

Trucks on a container ship

The Combined Authority is leading a consortium of 12 partners, including Bristol Port Company and the Smart Internet Lab, to demonstrate how 5G private network capabilities can increase efficiency and productivity for the logistics sector.

Lady with VR glasses on Image credit: Ultrahaptics

The first of the authority’s government-funded 5G testbed projects, 5G Tourism brought together digital experts and some of the region’s biggest tourist attractions, including The Roman Baths, We the Curious, M Shed and Millennium Square to demonstrate the ground-breaking potential of 5G for the tourism sector.