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More businesses encouraged to use 5G service

Published: 05/10/2023

More businesses across the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to take advantage of a ‘pop-up’ 5G network service that’s demonstrating the substantial benefits of applying advanced connectivity technology to business needs around the region.

The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) a Scottish Government initiative, offers the region a new, free 5G Innovation Testbed service, hosted by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) Digital Demonstration Centre in Inverness.

S5GC’s advice and its pop-up networks (provided by a range of technical partners including Celona, Attocore and Athonet) are available to organisations looking to explore how 5G solutions can significantly improve their business.

The Scotland 5G Centre has a suite of 5G Innovation test beds across Scotland, however the use of the pop-up network allows S5GC to trial 5G technology to geographically dispersed areas, from Thurso to Fort William, making it accessible for all businesses in the region.

The application of private 5G network technology introduces new innovation possibilities that go beyond today’s connectivity limitations. It removes the need to lay extensive fibering across sites, enabling the ability to connect multi devices and equipment to the network, offering fast and secure new ways to work, think, and addressing business challenges and opportunities. For example, its low latency allows businesses to monitor and remotely control mission critical operations using data in real-time. It also enables employers to train staff and access expertise remotely and helping to reduce business costs and energy consumption.

Since the launch of the Innovation Testbed many organisations have already engaged with the Region’s Business Engagement Manager to explore how they can use S5GC to test products, services and solutions.

This includes a project with the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre in Moray to develop new use cases that further demonstrate how 5G supports rural health delivery solutions and enables care services to be delivered to patients’ homes, removing the need for travel and reducing patient waiting time.

Another involves a private 5G network deployed at the Port of Nigg to explore how advanced wireless connectivity can be used in a large-scale industrial site to deliver high-speed, private secure connectivity to temporary buildings and mobile installations/equipment and test push-to-talk services.

And a third is supporting Scotland’ fisheries industry, through demonstrating in a challenging rural setting, 5G’s ability to improve the monitoring of fish stock and migration.

Ian Sharp, head of delivery at The Scotland 5G Centre, said:

“As the uptake of digital connectivity accelerates globally, with technology such as 5G offering unprecedented new ways to substantially improve business performance, it’s essential that Scotland’s private and public sectors take full advantage of this opportunity. It’s therefore exciting to see our pop-up networks being utilised by businesses in the Highlands and Islands region - supporting innovation, sustainability, and growth. We look forward to working with more organisations and supporting them to realise the benefits of 5G.”

Theresa Swayne, senior development manager at HIE, said:

“The Highlands and Islands hub is keeping key sectors at the forefront of digital technology developments, helping to grow their businesses and create jobs. It’s great to see the adoption of 5G technology in the region and how this is supporting economic activity.

“We’re now appealing to businesses and social enterprises who have not yet considered 5G (or simply want to find out what it can do) to get in touch with the Scotland 5G Centre and explore how the technology can benefit their operations and stimulate commercial activity.”

To find out more about the benefits of 5G of the S5GC’s services access can contact the technical team at info@scotland5gcentre.org or submit an expression of interest: https://scotland5gcentre.org/expression-of-interest/

ENDS.

Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) is the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G in Scotland. As the sixth hub of its kind in Scotland, the Highlands and Islands mobile hub is working with regional businesses and providing access to a 5G development platform, driving even more investment and interest to the area.