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2 November 2021

The Scotland 5G Centre officially launched its first live 5G private network at the S5GConnect hub at The Crichton in Dumfries on the 29 October.

With the planned launch of live test beds opening across the regions, the S5GConnect programme will accelerate the adoption of 5G across the country with advanced digital connectivity supporting new opportunities and economic progress through innovation.

The live 5G private network in Dumfries will showcase, innovate and test 5G ideas and will be closely followed by the launch of the Forth Valley network, which will go live later in November. Businesses of all sizes and stages can visit the hubs and experience 5G first-hand.

This key development demonstrates a commitment to introduce new ways of connecting people and places to support the levelling up of the digital divide.  The live network will offer demonstrations of 5G capability, as well the chance for others to test their own products and services.

On the day, The Scotland 5G Centre welcomed a number of guests to The Crichton to learn more about the potential of 5G. Speakers included; Paul Coffey (CEO, The Scotland 5G Centre), Kate Thomson (Vice Chair, The Crichton Trust), Cllr Dr Elaine Murray (Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council) and Andy Todman (Business Engagement Manager, S5GC Dumfries)

Those present were able to engage in a number of interactive demonstrations including:

  • Communication through large format holograms.  This technology enables you to feel physically present with another person in a different location.  This ‘holoportation’ demonstrates 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’ offers a solution for rural areas with poor coverage.  The application provides true end-to-end 5G network capability.
  • Augmented reality – a ‘smart tourism’ application allowed visitors to be transported to Cambridge to admire the King’s College Cathedral ceiling mural.  A mixed reality experience of a life-size Stonehenge also provided another immersive and engaging experience for guests.

The hub networks set up by the Scotland 5G Centre, place this advanced digital connectivity within existing communities to build and collaborate on existing partnerships. The Scotland 5G Centre is connecting with industry experts, local authority members, local businesses and public authorities to demonstrate the real benefits this latest technology has to offer.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Paul Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, The Scotland 5G Centre, said: “It’s an exciting day as our first 5G network goes live in our rural Connect Hub – creating real opportunities for the investment and use of this transformational technology.

“Our S5GConnect Programme is here to lead the way, a platform for innovation and to accelerate the roll out of digital connectivity by collaborating with the local businesses, academic institutions and partners.

“Scotland is uniquely placed to take advantage of 5G.  We are creating opportunities for investors and mobile operators to link with a variety of sectors including manufacturing, logistics, farming and healthcare.   This will in turn lead to scaling up and commercialisation to create new skills and jobs and will make a positive and real difference to Scotland’s economy.”

While Lara Moloney, Head of S5GConnect, said:

“We are excited to open the doors to SMEs and leaders who are keen to innovate in their business and make use of our first physical 5G private network to go live as part of the S5GConnect programme. Providing an environment to test and trial 5G marks an important step forward as we work with businesses and network operators to adopt 5G in Scotland.

“Our innovation hubs create an opportunity for partnership and collaboration, allowing businesses from start-ups to established industries, to learn how to utilise 5G and use it to their competitive advantage. We have engaged with over 300 businesses in the last 4 months alone and are looking forward to supporting industry further.”

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