The Basingstoke 5G Living Lab project has finally come to life after this month’s announcement that the contract to build and support its 5G private network in Basing View has been awarded to Cellnex UK. Cellnex is Europe and the UK’s largest and fastest-growing independent owner and operator of wireless telecoms infrastructure and is integral to the successful roll-out of 5G. The wireless infrastructure foundation they deliver, provides connectivity across both rural and urban areas and their business is built on commercial and technical innovation, ambition and sustainable growth. Offering customers, the commitment to neutrality and the economic benefits of shared infrastructure, Cellnex manages a portfolio of more than 130,000 sites across Europe providing the project with vast experience of building and operating 5G networks.
Connectivity is becoming a defining feature of the modern economy, reflected in the increasing investment in linking communities, economies and countries and promoting growth and productivity. Therefore, ensuring access is critical, particularly as we emerge from the global pandemic, to ensure connectivity for businesses, citizens and the wider community in Basingstoke and beyond. The 5G Living Lab will provide open access to 5G connectivity for businesses focussed on the commercialisation of new products, services and applications that leverage the benefits of 5G. It will consist of a 5G core network and Radio Access network providing both an indoor and outdoor 5G coverage via a dedicated Private Network.
Private Networks address many of the pain points associated with both public cellular and WiFi networks. They offer dedicated coverage with capacity scaled to meet specific needs and locations. Additionally, they provide secure, seamless and guaranteed voice and data coverage where and when needed to ensure continuity of business-critical operations and are designed to meet demanding business requirements.
Putting Basingstoke on the technology map
The 5G Living Lab and its 5G Private Network, made possible by funding from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and supported by the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre, represents a significant infrastructure project both for Basingstoke and on a national scale. The facilities it will provide are on a scale rarely seen elsewhere in the UK, outside of government funded trials programmes, and so will put Basingstoke firmly on the technology map.
The 5G Living Lab itself will allow industry partners to showcase technology expertise and foster innovation by providing a range of use cases, including smart city and Internet of Things applications, immersive retail and leisure, AR and VR, mobility and transport and digital health. Through its strong focus on commercialisation and business engagement, the project will also support innovative start-ups and businesses, helping to develop further 5G innovation and capabilities.
5G technology will transform the way we all live our lives and the 5G Living Lab project and its 5G Private Network will be at the heart of that transformation and will further enhance Basingstoke’s reputation as a top Tech Town in the UK.