Milton Keynes to become 5G testbed

5G, Drones, News

Milton Keynes has become 5G testbed
Milton Keynes Council has confirmed that the city has attracted more funding to become a testbed of a range of new 5G powered mobility technologies, writes Ashley Norris of Transition Earth. 

The scheme will use around £4m of new funding, including £2.3m from the Government, alongside the £10m investment already made by SEMLEP, industry and academic partners, to create and test mobility services using 5G, to be based around the MK Dons’ home venue Stadium MK.

 These include: 

  • driverless shuttles and road vehicles for moving people and goods across the stadium site, 
  • autonomous surveillance vehicles and drones for enhancing security
  • testing and drones for goods delivery and hospitality use

So perhaps at some point in the future, guests could be ferried to their seats by driverless cars and half time snacks could be delivered by drones.

The project could turn the stadium into one of the most technologically advanced in the world, and at the same time provide valuable insight to smart city planners on the potential of how 5G can be harnessed to create more efficient lower carbon services. 

Much of the research on 5G so far been focused on improving broadcasts and enhancing the fan’s experience through technologies such as Augmented Reality. The MK Dons experiment should illustrate more broadly the potential of the network to operate connected devices.

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Says John Cove, Director, MK Dons:

“We are delighted that the MK5G Create project has been selected to receive support from DCMS. We have been able to bring together a world-class team to integrate and exploit 5G capability in a dynamic real-world environment  – this will truly demonstrate how Stadium MK home of MK Dons, working with MK council and our partners can use new technology to support a major international sporting and cultural venue.

Adds Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure Minister:

“I am thrilled to announce our partnership with Milton Keynes Council and MK Dons to demonstrate the exciting future ahead for Britain’s biggest stadium venues. Our 5G Create funding will test potential uses for 5G drones, driverless vehicles and robots to boost efficiency and create better experiences for visitors and I look forward to sharing the valuable insights gained from this trial with venues across the country.”

Partners led by MKC include BT, Appyway Parking, RDM, Imperium Drive, Metaswitch, MK Dons, Neutral Wireless, City Fibre, Smart City, Connected Places and Satellite Applications Catapults.


Chris Price
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