Around half a million pounds has been awarded to Worcestershire County Council today to help research mobile connectivity trials at events across the county.
The research and development grant from the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) will help to explore innovative ways to address connectivity challenges at events across the county.
The project, named ONE WORD (Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) Western O-RAN Deployment) will see rural venues and events across the West of England region trialling Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) mobile technology designed to increase the resilience of the mobile network.
Forming part of the DSIT’s ONE competition, the project will demonstrate the reliability and feasibility of O-RAN technologies and showcase resilient and future-proofed connectivity for the county’s residents and businesses.
Any event organisers within Worcestershire interested in trialling the technology can get in touch with the Connectivity Team via email on email@example.com.
A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said: ‘’This is fantastic news for Worcestershire. Mobile connectivity can be a challenge to organisers and visitors at events, as well as those displaying and delivering services at the events, restricting reliable onsite communications and digital transactions.”
“Being part of the wider ONE WORD project also offers opportunity for ongoing improvements in mobile connectivity which has the potential to improve the quality of life in our county and drive economic growth.”
This ambitious project brings together six technology companies with five local authorities, a community organisation, and the University of Lancaster to deploy high quality mobile coverage trials in the West of England.
A total of £14m, £9.8m from DSIT and £4.2m from private sector partners, will be shared across the technology demonstrator trials in four distinct areas within the West of England region using innovative technology from British suppliers and following O-RAN specifications.
Overall, the project looks to build low-cost flexible alternatives to the mobile coverage available currently, installing high-capacity mobile infrastructure in hard-to-reach rural locations, in a way that is visually sympathetic to the environment.
As part of the project, within Worcestershire, the Council and partners will be trialling and demonstrating the use of a “network on wheels” advanced wireless solution that can be deployed to help support planned events and shows throughout the year held across our rural county. This network will provide effective and stable connectivity to those running the event, businesses who provide goods and services to visitors.
If successful, it is also envisaged that this “network on wheels” could in future be deployed quickly to provide a support network to emergency services and other organisations in response to critical incidents such as flooding.
For more information visit: £88 million research and development boost for innovative connectivity to future proof UK mobile network - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and Telet News – Telet (teletresearch.com)