Awards, contracts & appointments

08.04.19

Birmingham New Street becomes UK’s first 5G train station

A live trial of 5G has been launched at Birmingham New Street, making it the first train station to trial the “lightning-quick network tech” in the UK.

The 5G cellular mobile communication technology will allow passengers to load web pages or videos instantly, stream films, and access work files via compatible devices, as well as allowing passengers to test the new technology using a 5G router.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street tested the new Vodafone technology on the concourse of Birmingham New Street and supports the combined authority’s strategy to provide Birmingham with the latest digital communications.

Live testing is being conducted at various sites which are connected to the telecoms company’s single optical fibre network, with Vodafone saying it will be introducing 5G to a number of key commuter locations across the UK this year.

Street commented: “I am delighted that Vodafone has brought 5G to Birmingham; and that New Street is the UK’s first 5G-enabled rail station.

“When I was managing director at John Lewis, we saw online shopping transform the retail industry. I believe the West Midlands 5G project will enable our businesses, hospitals, public transport and universities to explore new services and stay ahead of their competition.”

The West Midlands Urban Connected Communities 5G Project, with the help of government funding, will create the UK’s first region-wide 5G test with the aim to roll out later this year.

Anne Sheehan, business director at Vodafone Business, said: “5G will enable new applications and experiences and support the development of connected cities and smart transport solutions.

“It will help businesses to implement emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and robotics. We look forward to continuing to work with Andy Street and his team to deliver the vision of a more prosperous and digitally connected region.”

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