Digital infrastructure5G & MobileWECA to host 5G Smart Tourism Showcase

WECA to host 5G Smart Tourism Showcase

WECA to host 5G Smart Tourism Showcase with UK’s leading tech pioneers to establish West of England as a world-leader in 5G technologies.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) will be hosting a showcase event across Bristol in order to establishing the West of England as a world-leader in the development of advanced fixed and mobile communication systems. 5G Smart Futures, a 5G Smart Tourism Showcase will be hosted by WECA on 16 March 2019.

WECA, funded by UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has a representation from 19 organisations and looks after the creation of a testbed to demonstrate 5G capabilities.

5G Smart Tourism Showcase

5G Smart Futures event marks the completion of a £5m 5G Smart Tourism project looking at new 5G technology and infrastructure in the West of England, put together by the University of Bristol Smart Lab. The transformational future of 5G technology would be unfolded for the participants. It will consolidate some of the UK’s leading 5G tech pioneers for a day of innovative, cutting-edge demonstrations, playable experiences, talks and workshops.

Participants will experience the possibilities with the the latest generation of cellular mobile communications through interactive events like virtual and augmented reality, 360° video and locative media. They would also be encouraged to sample a wide range of potential applications of 5G technology transforming tourism and commercial activity in the region.

The project aimed at establishing the West of England as a world-leader in the development of advanced fixed and mobile communication systems.

The Smart Internet Lab, an exclusive research hub at University of Bristol, has rendered support by bringing together SMEs who have been engaged in pioneering 5G technologies. The 5G Smart Futures 5G Smart Tourism showcase will include:

  • BBC R&D demonstrating a new app with VR/AR content bringing the history of the Roman Baths to life
  • Award-winning Smartify revealing an enhanced 5G gallery experience via bonus content including audio stories and videos
  • University of Bristol Smart Internet Lab inviting audiences to share 5G experiences across Bristol and London, inter-connecting testbeds in Bristol, Digital Catapult and King’s College in London
  • Industry innovator Landmrk welcoming visitors on an interactive, 360 video-guided tour around Bristol highlighting the vast contrast between 4G + 5G capabilities
  • Mo-Sys immersing audiences in a 5G-powered virtual world with their StarTracker ViewFinder
  • Mativision and InterDigital presenting a simultaneous 360° VR experience, revealing how 5G removes barriers to multiple users experiencing shared synced content
  • Zeetta Networks, Bristol City Council, IBI Group and Bristol is Open showing how 5G can support large-scale public events, making them safer and easier to manage.

Digital Minister Margot James MP said, “We all want to have fast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity on the go and our 5G testbeds being rolled out across the country will help to make that possible. The Connected Futures Showcase in the West of England will highlight the exciting potential of 5G technology, with the opportunity to enhance the experience of millions of visitors for years to come.”

There would be simultaneously sessions from 10am to 4pm at four different venues; We The Curious, Millennium Square, Anchor Square (Outside the front of We The Curious) and M Shed.

Apart from the activity in Millennium Square there will also be a series of discussions in the Bristol VR Lab. The aforementioned sessions will present a chance to find out more about the 5G Smart Tourism project from not only a 5G infrastructure and hardware perspective but also through dedicated trials.

5G Technology and the UK rollout

5G is envisioned to offer faster data transfer rates and reliable connections. Users can witness the download data transfer rate of approximately 1GBps normally on 5G enabled devices. The technology will support a huge rise in Internet of Things (IoT) and provide the infrastructure needed to transmit bulky data.

Some of the advantages of 5G technology are listed as:

  • Flashing speeds for download and upload
  • Buffer free streaming of online content
  • Higher-quality voice and video calls with call drops
  • Dependable mobile connections
  • More possibilities for IoT devices
  • Expansion of advanced technologies like self-driving cars and smart cities

Last year, Dritan Kaleshi, Lead Technologist at Digital Catapult had discussed what 5G technology promises for the public sector.

UK 5G rollout is expected to be this year. EE had plans to roll out 5G technology enabled mobile phones and devices in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, and Edinburgh first, followed by other areas.  O2, UK’s second-largest telecom provider has similar plans, starting in 2019 in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London, followed by other areas in 2020.  Vodafone UK, the country’s third largest mobile telecom, was also actively working on a fifth-generation wireless network. 5G is said to be rolled all over the world by the end of 2020.

In its TMT Prediction 2019 Report, Deloitte predicts c.20 handset vendors will launch 5G-ready devices in 2019, with 50,000 5G-enabled handsets to be shipped in the UK by the end of the year.

University of Surrey is running a similar program in Guildford named as 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC). 5GIC is a testbed where researchers and partners can test and develop, in a real-world environment, any technology that could run on the next-gen wireless network.

UK’s first live 5G factory trials have begun at the Worcestershire 5G Testbed on 13 February 2019, in a landmark step towards the creation of smart factories in Britain.

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