Government to back large scale 5G pilot across the region, with hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton


The West Midlands has been selected to become the UK’s first multi-city 5G test bed.

The move is part of government backed trial of new high speed connectivity designed to pave the way for the future rollout of 5G across the UK.

5G has the potential to transform the broadcast industry, allowing consumers to access video on mobile devices much more quickly and at better quality.

The Urban Connected Communities Project will develop a large-scale, 5G pilot across the region, with hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Up to £50m is currently available for the project. This includes £25m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and a further £25m match funding from regional partners. An additional £25m may be made available at a later stage.

Minister for Digital, Margot James said: “5G has the potential to dramatically transform the way we go about our daily lives.”

The West Midlands bid has an initial focus on the health, construction and automotive sectors

Possible uses of 5G in the test include hospital outpatient appointments and emergency consultations being carried out remotely by video link, and live streaming of CCTV footage from public transport buses, allowing the police to take quicker action against anti-social behaviour.