The Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced plans to build the UK’s first 5G test bed. It will be done in partnership with the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC).

The new test bed will focus on 5G commercial applications to enable innovation in the cyber security industry and Industry 4.0, with founder members QinetiQ, Worcester Bosch and Yamazaki Mazak.

It will also give entrepreneurs the opportunity to test 5G capabilities in the new incubator, which will be located at the Malvern Hills Science Park.

The 5GIC is the UK’s largest academic research centre dedicated to the development of the next generation of mobile and wireless communications. It brings together leading academic experts and key industry partners from top providers and infrastructure companies.

Mark Stansfeld, chair of the Worcestershire LEP, said: “5G connectivity is set to revolutionise the way that business works in the UK and globally, and I am therefore delighted that Worcestershire is leading the way in terms of developing 5G applications for local businesses.

“The Memorandum of Understanding that we have signed with the University of Surrey displays our intent to become one of the first regions to incorporate the new technology and will help us to cement our status as a county with exceptional digital connectivity for all.”

He went on to say that his organisation welcomed the fact that the government will be progressing a new 5G Testbeds & Trials Programme to ensure that the UK maximises the opportunities from 5G.

Keith Robson, chief operating officer of the University of Surrey, added that his institution has already seen that the introduction of 5G technology will have “an extremely positive impact” on allowing companies to develop innovative products and boost productivity.

He said: “5G technology is a global opportunity for businesses and we are excited to be working at the forefront of its implementation in the UK.”

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