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Open call

5G Testbed Accelerator Programme

Open date: Monday 25 February 2019   Close date: Tuesday 30 April 2019

We’re looking for the next cohort of companies to join our 5G Testbed Accelerator Programme. Designed for startups and scaleups, this 12 week programme provides access to the tools, facilities and expertise needed to discover, develop and test new products and services using 5G technologies.

The programme offers selected organisations the opportunity to differentiate value propositions with:

  • access to 5G testbed facilities in Brighton and London
  • 5G technology support from Digital Catapult 5G technologists
  • business mentoring from 5G technologists, business and innovation experts

These three elements of the programme complement each other to provide participants the opportunity to be one of the first to work with 5G technologies. The 5G Testbed Accelerator Programme provides those taking part, access to Digital Catapult’s 5G testbed facilities in London and Brighton. The London testbed is located in the Digital Catapult (101 Euston Road, London, NW1 2RA) and the Brighton testbed is located in the Fusebox innovation hub (New England House, Brighton, BN1 4GH) a space managed by Wired Sussex.

Currently the 5G Brighton testbed is configured to provide up to 125Mbps download and 44Mbps upload performance in an unloaded network. The testbed can support up to 24 simultaneous users.

Digital Catapult 5G Testbeds: Current features (February 2019)

  • 4G LTE radio access network operating in licenced spectrum using a non-operational testing and development license granted by Ofcom (Band 7)
  • commercial grade packet core network software with local breakout capability
  • ability to emulate slicing (through local breakout)
  • edge computing and storage support (computational nodes available for in-network processing)
  • 1Gbps internet connection (firewalled)
  • a number of mobile user equipment (smartphones, laptops with mobile broadband dongles and tablets with cellular access) with pre-configured SIM cards
  • technical support for testbed user project integration

The technology strand of the programme is supported by Digital Catapult’s 5G Tech Team, typically a 5G Technologist and Testbed Manager that will work closely with the businesses and help to support members set up solutions on the Testbed(s). The business innovation element is led by 5G Acceleration Programme Leads with the support of a group of mentors and business modelling experts.

Who should get involved

Ambitious startups and scaleups who have an interest in developing new products, services and experinces technically and commercially through 5G technology.

Digital Catapult’s 5G Testbed Accelerator Programme can support two types:

  • innovators that use infrastructure services, as an enabler of products and services
  • infrastructure technology companies that will innovate inside the communications network itself, such as building edge computing solutions and platforms

What we’re looking for:

  • business plan: you have a well-defined and viable product or service
  • early stage: you are an early stage company (startup and scaleup)
  • 5G interest: you are interested in different business models that 5G might create/you are interested in how 5G can improve your model/service/product

Why you should get involved

This is a unique opportunity for startups and scaleups to learn about 5G capabilities, develop new value propositions that embrace the potential of future disruptive technologies, and test new products and services in a safe environment.

By joining the programme organisations will be able to:

  • learn about 5G and how to build competitive advantage
  • test and develop new products and services in a safe environment
  • access technical and business expertise
  • participate in challenge led innovation programmes
  • demonstrate solutions to commercial players in the UK market
  • identify opportunities to access public innovation funds
  • become part of a growing community and attend regular workshops and events

Additional info

Throughout the process, you will have access to business and technical support from Digital Catapult’s 5G technology team, CR&D team and innovation team. With support from 5G technologists and testbed managers, businesses will better understand 5G specificities and capabilities.

The business side of the Accelerator programme offers members a series of masterclasses aiming to combine discovery, learning, deployment, and testing 5G technologies aspects of the programme with the possibility of refining value propositions and considering how to access funding. Examples of the offered masterclasses are: 5G Deep Dive, Value Proposition and Storytelling, Experience Design, Accessing Public Funds for Innovation, and Technology Roadmap Alignment.


If you would like to find out more about the programme, please contact [email protected].