A UK-led consortium is to trial 5G-powered ‘infotainment’ services in Scotland and South Korea as part of the latest government-funded pilot of next-generation network applications.
‘5G RailNext’, which includes Cisco, Soluis, Ampletime, the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Council will see how tourists and commuters can be provided with travel information, streaming and gaming services using Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) applications.
Once testing has been complete, the group will expand to the Glasgow Subway and are hoping to work with the London Underground and the New York Subway in the future.
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The British and Korean governments will each provide £1.2 million in funding, with the UK money coming from the £200m 5G Testbed and Trials Programme. Cisco has already been a beneficiary of the fund, working with the BBC and others as part of a 5G rural connectivity project in Orkney, Shropshire and Somerset.
The partnership with South Korea is designed to drive Korean investment in the UK and provide opportunities for British firms in the Asian country.
“5G is the future of connectivity and we want the UK to be a world leader,” said Digital Minister Margot James. “This collaboration with South Korea will explore innovative ways to use the technology to deliver content and services on transport networks in Seoul and Glasgow.
“I'm delighted that this will create new partnership and business opportunities for UK SMEs, academia and local government."
EE and Vodafone have already launched 5G services in the UK, with Three set to go live in August and O2 before the end of 2019. It is hoped that the British startup ecosystem and research network will allow the UK to have significant influence on the development of 5G networks and applications across the world.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.