West Midlands Combined Authority plans 5G demonstrators

5G demonstratorsImage: West Midlands Combined Authority plans 5G demonstrators. Photo: Courtesy of Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is planning to run four 5G demonstrators in a pre-selected city as part of the testbed programme for the networks.

WM5G, the company established to run the programme, has published a procurement notice on Contracts Finder website inviting applications from interested companies to identify and run the four Popup 5G demonstrations at a site in Birmingham city centre.

The request for offers stated that the 5G demonstrators will be taken up along with associated publicity as part of the Urban Connected Communities (UCC) project in the West Midlands.

The programme is intended to generate interest in the West Midlands for the 5G programme and to show the benefits of various use cases to invite further investment.

The UCC project is running six main workstreams, including Infrastructure Acceleration to help mobile network operators (MNOs) deploy 5G in partnership with local authorities; Application Accelerator to help end user organisation and technology companies to engage, explore and integrate with 5G and related technologies.

The workstreams include Citizen Wellbeing Testbed to run use cases covering health, social care and emergency services; mobility testbed to use cases related to transport and travel in an urban environment; manufacturing, related to industrial processes and logistics; and construction, which covers design and build.

The programme was launched in September 2018 when the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) awarded £25m to the WMCA to develop a 5G testbed in the region.

In the procurement notice, the WM5G said that it is seeking a technology company or an MNO to identify suitable demonstrations; set up the location and technology (using own equipment); run the demonstrations; and run PR/marketing in conjunction with UCC partners.

The demonstrations will be required to include at least some 5G New Radio.

The contract is worth £50,000 and applications will be accepted until 24 May 2019. Work under the contract will begin on 1 July 2019 and end on 30 September 2019.

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