Worcestershire – home of the Wyre Forest, birthplace of composer Sir Edward Elgar and origin of Worcestershire sauce. Not the first place you might expect to be at the forefront of the UK’s technological advancements. However, that is exactly what this peaceful county’s next venture is.
This serene county has recently been given a £4.8 million grant from the government to test and develop new 5G programmes. This is part of a £1 Billion investment from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for testing facilities across the country, of which the Worcestershire 5G Consortium is the first to be awarded a grant.
The Government’s Plan In Numbers:
£1 billion overall investment
10% of the UK’s GDP is represented by manufacturing
1% productivity improvement is possible with the use of 5G
£173 Billion is the forecasted incremental value of 5G in the first 10 years
The Worcester 5G Consortium is working with a number of large companies from different industries to research and develop the uses of 5G to improve productivity. Those involved include the machine tool manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak, defence engineers QinetiQ, mobile phone firm Huawei, and network providers O2, and Telephonica. Worcester Bosch is one of the companies with the largest involvements with this project. They are developing sensors for their manufacturing process, where 5G reports are compiled and sent in real time for the purpose of preventative maintenance. This will increase productivity as issues can be rectified before they become worse, with services scheduled for convenient times where there is minimal disruption.
Mark Stansfeld is the chairman of the Consortium, bringing a lot of experience to the team. Not only is he the chair of the network giffgaff, he has also been the chairman of Telephonica Digital Insights and Non-Executive Director of O2, as well as a Non-Executive Director of both Ovo Energy and the NHS in Birmingham. Stansfeld therefore is in a strong position to lead this research project, working in partnership with the companies involved and Worcestershire County Council.
These tests being carried out in Worcestershire and later across the country will be the gateway to the implementation of 5G into our personal and professional lives. Mark Stansfeld explains more about the work he is carrying out through the Worcester 5G Consortium in the video below.