West Midlands 5G (WM5G), a new organisation set-up by the region to deliver the first region-wide 5G testbed, has hosted a series of exciting 5G demonstrations in partnership with Birmingham City University and global telecommunications giant Ericsson. WM5G is part of the DCMS 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme.

5G, which provides speeds of up to ten times faster than 4G, has the potential to deliver significant citizen, public and private sector benefits across the healthcare, manufacturing and construction industries.

Guests witnessed superimposed images through 5G-enabled augmented reality, a 360° visualisation of proposed developments within an existing cityscape, cloud-enabled robots, a 5G-enabled homecare assistance system and a day-to-day life virtual reality experience.

The City of Wolverhampton’s Digital Innovation Councillor Champion, Cllr Beverley Momenabadi, joined sector leaders from across the region at the event to see first-hand the benefits that 5G offers.

Cllr Momenabadi said: “It was great to see the opportunities that 5G connectivity enables and the positive impact that this technology can play in people’s day-to-day lives. Wolverhampton has a strong heritage of innovation, and through our targeted work to accelerate the roll out of 5G we will ensure that local people benefit from the exciting developments in mobile technology.”

Wolverhampton, along with Coventry and Birmingham, is one of the first cities in the West Midlands to launch 5G – opening up opportunities for people across the city to benefit from the new technology as the networks extend further in the coming months and years.

WM5G is leading the ongoing drive to accelerate the roll-out of 5G across the West Midlands, which will inform the wider deployment of the technology across the UK.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “It was fantastic to see 5G technology in action and to see the practical difference it can make to people’s lives in the West Midlands. We have made great progress since the region was announced as the UK’s first 5G testbed last year, and I am very excited to see how 5G shapes our region moving forward.

“Thanks to the government’s support, the West Midlands is leading the way on 5G. Not only will the new technology help drive substantial economic growth for the region, but we will also be experiencing all the benefits of 5G first – including the introduction of new phones that I expect will be at the top of many people’s Christmas lists.”

WM5G’s initial focus has been on the deployment of the necessary infrastructure required for 5G services. The company is now working closely with manufacturers, SMEs, universities and hospitals across the region on new 5G applications that will help drive economic growth and make a real and positive difference to the people and businesses of the West Midlands.