Ivan McKee launches new 5G testbed in Aberdeen
The S5GConnect Aberdeen testbed, based at ONE Tech Hub, is now live and open to the market. The new facility will allow businesses of all sizes to test and develop new 5G applications and accelerate new digital services and operations in the region.
The Scotland 5G Centre and partners Opportunity North East (ONE), believe the new testbed will create transformational benefits of 5G for businesses, public sector organisations and communities in Scotland. The partnership is being supported by Vodafone and Ericsson, as the Mobile Private Network (MPN) is to be deployed in eight weeks.
The Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee, visited the launch in Aberdeen to experience the 5G capability first-hand. A demonstration showed a 5G-enabled robotic arm that will be used on an offshore wind farm. The robotic arm was controlled by a remote operator, who could see, feel and experience the environment during the inspection with the help of visual and haptic feedback.
Mckee also observed Vodaphone’s Mixed Reality solution, during a fault detection demonstration. The technology allows users to see the physical world with digital overlays, which come in many forms, such as; instructional videos, or three-dimensional objects. It is hoped this technology will improve the learning of complex processes and speed up the competition of repetitive tasks.
He said: “Transformative 5G technology has the potential to revitalise businesses across the country and I congratulate those behind these innovative demonstrations.
“The new Aberdeen 5G Innovation Hub will help boost the economy and encourage entrepreneurship in the North East, helping small and medium-sized enterprises with the skills they need to understand how 5G can benefit their business.
“Collaboration between innovation hubs like this and industry can transform businesses and create opportunities for increased productivity, cost savings and sustainability. I encourage the energy sector – locally and further afield – to take advantage of the technology and expertise on offer to help innovate and grow your business.”
Mark Hanson, non-executive director of The Scotland 5G Centre said: “We’re excited to be launching the S5GConnect Hub in Aberdeen – providing a knowledge centre and testbed infrastructure for the surrounding community.
“5G technology is open for use not just by mobile network operators, but it allows businesses, government bodies and other organizations the opportunity to set up their own private 5G network - enabling secure, interference-free, high speed, low latency wireless communications. It’s one of the key technologies on which Scotland’s Future Digital Economy will be built.
“The Aberdeen Hub will help individual organisations understand the impact 5G can have, run trials on the test bed infrastructure and receive support as they deploy their private networks. We also look forward to working alongside our partners here in Aberdeen, Opportunity North East, Aberdeen City Council, the Innovation Centres including CENSIS and the DATALAB and other agencies where we can work closely together to help deliver major transformation projects for the area.”
Karen O’Hanlon, director of digital tech, Opportunity North East said: “ONE Tech Hub is the anchor point for the region’s fast-growing tech community and home to a growing number of leading partner organisations connecting digital tech businesses with expertise and specialist technology to help them go further faster.
“The new Scotland 5G Centre partnership and 5G testbed with onsite support will give businesses and tech developers the opportunity to work with expert advisors to demonstrate, develop and apply 5G connectivity in new applications and be part of the transformative 5G technology ecosystem to help accelerate growth.”
Kim Moran-Hogg, head of Scotland & Northern Ireland, Vodafone Business, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Scotland 5G Centre to make sure Scottish businesses and public bodies have access to research centres powered by state-of-the-art private networks.
“It’s vital that leading-edge technologies are available right across the UK and this centre of excellence in Aberdeen can be a showcase for Scotland and the whole of the UK.”