The Government is launching a £30m open competition – dubbed 5G Create – to develop new uses for 5G across a host of sectors, including advertising, film, TV and video games as part of a wider £65m package to investigate the technology’s potential.
Creative Industries Council co-chair Tim Davie, who is also chief executive of BBC Studios, said the organisation had long been advocating a funded competition as an opportunity for UK creative companies to develop innovative products and services using this transformational technology.
He added: “5G offers innovative opportunities right across the sector from film and TV, to games, to music, fashion and advertising. We hope start-ups and well-established companies alike will bid for the available funds.”
The 5G Create competition will open in early March and run until the end of June.
Meanwhile, nine projects across the country will receive a share of £35m from the Government’s rural and industrial 5G competitions.
Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire is one of the nine. It will see “cutting-edge” apps transform the visitor experience, with Robin Hood telling the history of the medieval forest via virtual and augmented reality on 5G networks. New robotic environmental management will also be tested alongside live monitoring of the health of Sherwood Forest to preserve the site for future generations.
Funding will also go to 5G trials in air and sea search and rescue in Dorset to help save lives using terrestrial and satellite connectivity. This project will also trial 5G connectivity for remote farms to track crop growth, monitor livestock and reduce water pollution using 5G.
The ultimate aim is to help spread the benefits of technology across the country and allow the UK to grasp an early advantage by using the new applications 5G networks can enable.
The two programmes form part of the UK’s £200m investment in testbeds and trials across the UK to explore new ways that 5G can boost business growth and productivity, improve the lives of people in rural areas and maximise the productivity benefits of new technologies.
5G has speeds up to ten times faster than 4G and will greatly increase mobile capacity across the UK, in theory meaning more people will be able to get online and find and download the content they want, without slowdown.
But 5G is about more than a speedier Internet connection. It uses technology that is far more advanced than that of current mobile networks, with supporters claiming it could transform the way consumers interact with critical services – from energy and water, to transport and healthcare.
5G should also drive the adoption of new technologies such as driverless cars, remote healthcare and the ‘smart’ devices increasingly used in both domestic and work environments.
Research lead professor Mohammad Patwary from Birmingham City University said: “This is a unique opportunity for the UK to become a world-leader, exploiting the technological innovation that 5G can offer by developing and using innovative technology for destination branding for the visitor economy, preserving the wellbeing of the environment, and creating a scalable and sustainable commercial grade experimental network; a world first.”
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