Insights Government announces joint investment from government and businesses to fund nine UK-wide 5G projects

The Government has announced that nine projects will receive funding as part of a £28.3 million joint investment between the Government and businesses, “5G Create”, to test how the country can seize the full benefits of 5G and help British industries capitalise on the power of modern technology.

In one of the projects, a new augmented reality app, to be released alongside upcoming BBC series The Green Planet, will see users stream high resolution “holographic” video of Sir David Attenborough as detailed graphics of exotic plants and animals adorn their surroundings.

Developed by a consortium of leading creative and technology firms, including EE and London-based immersive content studio Factory 42, the Government says that the app will “highlight the possibilities of 5G to new audiences and show other creative and technology firms how the ultrafast network can handle data-intensive immersive content”.

The Government says that 5G will be put to use in some of Britain’s biggest venues. In London, O2’s Project Vista will explore how it can provide instant, multi-angle replays via smartphones during stadium events. The MK Stadium, home to Milton Keynes Dons FC, will be kitted out with driverless taxis, smart parking management and robots to help the site run more efficiently and enhance experiences for spectators and staff.

Leeds-based TV production company Candour TV will test 5G’s ability to broadcast high quality live content and transfer huge video files from a variety of remote locations, extreme terrains and weather conditions. Filmed activities will include caving in the Yorkshire Dales, sea cliff climbing in North Wales and ultra-running across Britain.

The Government says that this capability, if proven, could see 5G becoming a standard for the film production industry in the UK. It could also benefit social media content creators, outdoor events companies, music and performance festivals and many others, the Government says.

5G Create is part of the government’s £200 million investment in testbeds and trials across the UK to explore new ways that 5G can boost productivity, grow existing businesses or spark new ones. In the competition’s second round, DCMS has provided £15.2 million to be shared across the nine projects with the remaining £13.1 million coming from project partners. Five of the projects will also test out the technical possibilities of Open RAN, an alternative way of building telecoms networks that allows for greater interoperability of radio equipment between vendors and will give operators more choice and flexibility as they roll out 5G infrastructure. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.