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Industrial 5G Testbeds and Trials


About Industrial 5G Testbeds and Trials

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5G Testbeds and Trials programme seeks to demonstrate the value of 5G to industry and help to make the UK a global leader in its adoption and application.

The UK has a unique opportunity to take a crucial global leadership role in determining the evolution of 5G adoption, while driving its early integration into key sectors of the UK economy. Digital Catapult is coordinating the Industrial 5G Testbeds and Trials programme on behalf of the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).


The programme sets out to demonstrate the value of 5G beyond enhanced mobile broadband by targeting industry focused use cases in manufacturing and logistics to:

  • Explore the potential for efficiency and productivity benefits
  • Help make the UK a global leader in the adoption and application of 5G technology
  • Help the UK lead the development of the implementation and standards around 5G

Industrial 5G

5G has proved to have significant potential and growing use cases  in the manufacturing and logistics sectors, as identified in Digital Catapult’s Made in 5G report. The UK industries are currently in the midst of a digital transformation and are engaging with advanced digital technologies including 5G to benefit their businesses as part of the 4th Industrial Revolution.


5G Encode

5G ENCODE is a £9m project seeking to deliver a private industrial 5G Testbed within the National Composites Centre (NCC) to support 3 manufacturing use cases. The main aim of the project is to explore new business models and value propositions for enterprise private 5G networks within the composites manufacturing industry.

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The 5G Enhanced Manufacturing (5GEM) aims to demonstrate the value that 5G will bring to industry by conducting testbeds at two sites. These testbeds seek to show how 5G technology improves the monitoring capability of manufacturing machines and processes, allows for further data collection, facilitates real-time monitoring of machines and processes, and enables real-time control of machines and processes.

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5G Factory of The Future

UK Manufacturing productivity is lower than leading European nations, i.e. ranked 9th in 2019 down from 6th in 2004. To ensure UK companies (e.g. BAE Systems) remain globally competitive, transformative capability must be embraced. 5G Factory of the Future aims to drive early adoption of 5G for one of the UK’s most significant manufacturing supply chains, developing new opportunities for tech startups in the process.

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5G Connected Automotive Logistics is using 5G to demonstrate the key features for successful CAL deployment. This deployment entails the safe and secure operation and handover of the CAV from autonomous mode to remote manual operation (teleoperation) and vice versa, when a situation outside of the autonomous logic of the vehicle arises. This is considered critical for 5G and CAL operation in potential emergency situations, and, it is believed, will represent a world-first innovation.


Digital applications have the potential to improve construction productivity. However, construction projects are often delivered in locations with poor data connectivity, presenting a challenge for applications that need to process high data volumes. 5G can address this challenge, improving construction process management whilst creating a new market for UK telecoms and technology providers. The project seeks to establish a private, nomadic 5G network as a testbed at two BAM Nuttall managed sites.

Smart Junctions 5G

The Smart Junctions project aims to deliver AI traffic control systems in order to reduce both congestion and pollution as well as improving productivity through the reduction of waiting times at traffic signals. It uses a 5G small cell network to decrease infrastructure costs for the connection of sensors at every junction, removing the need to mount hardware onto buildings in district centre locations as well as supporting connected bus projects and other mobility based public services.

5G Ports

The 5G Ports project is based at the Port of Felixstowe, Britain’s biggest and busiest container port, handling more than 4million containers from approximately 3,000 ships each year, including the largest container vessels afloat today. The project aims to prove that 5G has industrial capabilities in the context of logistics and port operations across the fields of automation and IoT.

5G Logistics

5G Logistics is a £5.2m project that will create a 5G private network linking Bristol Port and the Gravity Smart Campus site in Somerset. Use cases will be trialled on this network to demonstrate how 5G private network capabilities can offer efficiency and productivity improvements to the logistics sector, with the potential for resulting solutions to be implemented for ports, Enterprise Zones, business parks, and local authorities.

Industrial 5G Testbeds & Trials Report – Evidencing the real-world benefits and value of Industrial 5G




The Toolkit is one of the main vehicles through which Digital Catapult shared learnings from the projects, along with useful and accessible information regarding 5G to accelerate adoption in manufacturing and logistics.


Interview Series

A four-part interview series with early 5G adopters in manufacturing and logistics to explore the benefits, challenges, scalability and future of Industrial 5G:

Ian Bouquet-Taylor, Operations Director at AE Aerospace


Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council


Dr Krste Pangovski, CEO and co-founder of Vision Intelligence


Part four coming soon

Industrial 5G Uncovered Webinar Series

A four-part webinar series of industry events that showcase real examples of 5G applications and learnings from industry experts for organisations in the manufacturing and logistics sectors.