Glasgow bids for £100m from UK Government to become 5G smart city

Written by Jenni Davidson on 23 April 2018 in News

DCMS is offering funding to a UK city to trial cutting-edge uses of 5G technology

View across the Clyde at sunset - Image credit: Oliver Clarke via Flickr

Glasgow is bidding for £100m from a UK Government funding pot to become the UK’s smartest city.

Earlier this month, the Department for Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that it is looking for a UK city or urban area of around 500,000 people to test cutting-edge mobile technology as part of its 5G Testbed and Trials Programme.

Glasgow is the first urban area in Scotland to announce it will go for the funding.

If its bid is successful, Glasgow aims to use next generation 5G infrastructure to boost the city's economy, health, entertainment, education and employment opportunities.

Glasgow City Council has said that cross-sector collaboration between the public, private, academic and third sectors as well as SMEs are key to Glasgow's proposal.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "We believe Glasgow is ideally placed to push the boundaries of 5G application by devising pioneering ways of using this powerful new technology to improve life in the city.

"Glasgow has a growing economy with a thriving tech sector, a highly skilled workforce, two Innovation Districts and world-class sporting, conference and entertainment venues.

“We have also proved our ability to deliver large scale, leading- edge technology projects with the £24m Future City Glasgow programme.

"However, the city also faces challenges in areas such as health, poverty and unemployment.

“Investing in digital connectivity has huge potential to help us tackle these issues in new and creative ways - ensuring all sectors of the city benefit from this digital revolution."

Due to be launched in the UK in 2020, 5G mobile connectivity could be transformational for public services and businesses.

Much faster and more reliable than 4G, it offers the potential for greatly increased data download and upload speeds that will facilitate use for internet of things connected devices such as driverless cars, wearable devices and intelligent street lights.

The closing date for applications for the funding is 5 June and DCMS is expected to select the successful city by the end of July.

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