Basingstoke and Deane gets behind 5G tests

Council teams up with 5G Innovation to provide test bed in business district

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has set up a testbed for 5G technology in its central business district.

Basing ViewIn a project with the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, it is making the Innovation Centre at the town’s Basing View area (pictured) available for start-ups and small businesses to test mobile applications using the technology.

Although 5G is not expected to be widely available in the UK until into the 2020s, early efforts are now being made to develop applications that could have uses in business, the media, health and social care and the development of smart places.

The test bed has been built with investment from the Enterprise M3 growth fund, which is targeted on economic development near the M3 motorway. The 5G Innovation Centre provided the expertise with support from Basingstoke and Dean, start-up Gematech and SETsquared, an enterprise collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.

Cutting edge

Councillor Hannah Golding, the council’s cabinet member for digital innovation and inclusion, said: “The cutting edge 5G mobile network test bed at Basing View puts Basingstoke at the heart of pioneering mobile technology.

“The council is delighted to lend its support to the 5G Innovation Centre and facilitate the use of the 5G test bed by local digital entrepreneurs and growing businesses, which will enable them to develop mobile applications which are fit for the future.”

The launch has come soon after the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced the provision of £16 million for three universities, including Surrey, to develop a test network for 5G technology, with the aim of running trials early next year.

Image by Sebastian Ballard, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia