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Insight

5G and what it could mean to Bournemouth

As an emerging technology, 5G is a hot topic on the lips of the people of Bournemouth.

After attending a co-run event through Bournemouth Council and Ordnance Survey last night, the evening was designed to set expectations of what 5G could provide locally.

Combined with the Government’s plans to invest over £1.1billion into digital infrastructure, the timing of this event couldn’t have come at a better time.

What is 5G?

In essence, nobody knows.

As a technology it has not been fully defined. The standards, capacity, speed are still yet to be set.

Due to this, a number of test-bed projects will be performed throughout the UK, of which Bournemouth has been chosen to be one.

Commissioned to perform the tests, Ordnance Survey will be mapping areas Bournemouth to understand the effect that buildings, lamp posts, trees or even rain can have on high frequency 5G signals.

The gained evidence throughout will look to understand the limitations and cost of implementing 5G to urban areas. This will in turn provide data that Government can use to plan a national rollout.

How will it affect us?

For start it will enable far more data to be communicated and transferred than ever before. This will mean that live streaming of video and immersive tech, like VR, will no longer lag or cause the user to become frustrated with the quality of content.

Although the throughput of these signals have not been standardised, we will have access to a faster, higher quality network – which can only be a good thing for tech hubs like Bournemouth.

Ways 5G can be utilised in society

5G will enable Smart Cities a whole wealth of ways to benefit it’s populous.

From combining predictive analytics with realtime data, proactive traffic calming methods could be introduced into urban areas, controlling traffic lights and giving emergency services the ability to know the quickest route to take to get to a destination safely.

With online banking being used more widely, a faster network will allow more and more transactions to happen. And with the Government understanding that this will happen, they are also investing a significant amount into online security.

In addition to this, faster/ high frequency bandwidth can be beneficial to health and well being. With an ageing population the UK could have the ability to measure thousands of data sets to understand if someone is in need of assistance, because they have a fall etc.

Conclusion

Although Bournemouth has only been commissioned initially to be a test bed for 5G, it shows that the town is growing in both tech maturity and presence.

No longer are the days of being viewed as a retirement village, but as an area of growth and potential.

With a growing digital and creative hub, the area has been rejuvenated. This combined with a flourishing startup community it truly is an exciting time to be in Bournemouth.

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