Plans for Worcestershire to build the UK's first 5G test bed have today been welcomed by Worcestershire County Council's Economy and Infrastructure Chief Cllr Ken Pollock.
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) announced the news earlier in the week. The LEP will be working in partnership with the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC).
Cllr Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member Responsible for Economy and Infrastructure, said: "The cutting-edge 5G network test bed at Malvern Hills Science Park puts Worcestershire at the heart of pioneering, next generation technology.
"The council is delighted to lend its support to the development of 5G technologies, which will enable local and growing businesses to develop new and innovative products which are fit for the future.
"We are already improving the county's connectivity through our superfast Worcestershire broadband programme to make superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of Worcestershire by the end of next year and supporting the development of 5G technologies is our next ambition."
Fibre cabling is necessary to support the function of 5G and the superfast Worcestershire broadband programme has already delivered 618km of fibre across the county. This will ensure that Worcestershire is a connected county and will be 5G ready in the future.
Fibre is an enabling technology for other services such as mobile and other wireless communications. Partners in the county continue to work to engage mobile network operators to optimise their 2G, 3G and 4G services and continue to commit to improve the availability of fibre across the county. In March 2017, the Superfast Worcestershire programme announced a major £3.7 million expansion that will enable over 3,000 more households and businesses to access fibre broadband for the first time. In the coming weeks the next phase of the broadband programme, which will take coverage even further, will be announced.
The new 5G application is part of building a connected, creative, dynamic economy that delivers increased prosperity for all those who choose to live, work, and invest in Worcestershire.