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Dumfries and Galloway gets first live 5G network

By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and Galloway gets first live 5G network

THE Scotland 5G Centre switched on its first live 5G network in Dumfries to serve the South of Scotland at a special event recently. Guests from healthcare, education, rural industries, business organisations and partners experienced the technology in action.

The event included demonstrations of how 5G can be used for farming, remote healthcare, and tourism.

The Innovation Hub is now open for appointments and is currently offering demonstrations of 5G capability. The aim is to attract local businesses and services to adopt the latest digital connectivity and test their own ideas, products and services within the private 5G network.

Part of the S5G Connect programme, the Innovation hub is located at the Crichton Campus in a new digitally enabled centre for learning. It is led by business engagement manager Andy Todman, who is tasked with building partnerships and collaborations to accelerate the adoption of 5G in the area. The hub offers extensive business and innovation services at no initial cost to the user.

Current applications on display include communication through large format holograms. This technology enables you to feel physically present with another person in a different location. This ‘holoportation’ will demonstrate the opportunities for remote healthcare through a live, immersive, and interactive conversation with a clinician in London. It showcases the next level of telepresence for healthcare, business meetings and education across borders.

‘5G in a box’ will demonstrate a solution for rural areas with poor coverage. The application provides a true end-to-end and standalone 5G network.

A further application takes tourism up a gear by using augmented reality. This ‘smart tourism’ application will allow visitors to be transported to Cambridge to admire the King’s College Cathedral ceiling mural or see a life-size Stonehenge.

Andy Todman is keen to raise awareness of the service locally and said: “We are part of the S5GConnect programme providing sector specific support. In this area we are tasked with supporting rural innovation. The choice to kick-start its testbed programme in Dumfries demonstrates the Scotland 5G Centre’s commitment to introduce new ways of connecting people and places to support the levelling up of the digital divide.

“My aim is to build long lasting mutually beneficial partnerships with stakeholders across the South of Scotland and to raise the profile of solution providers and useful technology within the region. We are already working with Dumfries and Galloway College and partners to connect the faculties on the campus to our network to benefit students and employees. As well as working with local enterprises to bring lasting benefits for remote healthcare and agricultural solutions.”

One Dumfries company is keen to utilise the advanced digital connectivity provided by 5G. James Slater, chief executive of telecommunications service provider, Quibiti, said: “Our approach is always to connect people, technology, and environment to realise the best workspaces. Having access to a 5G private network with advice and support systems will help us realise the best solutions for our customers. This innovative resource on our doorstep means we have the potential to pilot new equipment and develop new business methods that use 5G that could give us a distinct competitive advantage.”

Live test beds across the regions are planned to follow the successful launch in Dumfries and businesses interested in working with the hub should contact Andy at [email protected].

Pictured above: James Slater QUBITI, Paul Coffey S5GC and Andy Todman S5GC


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