Digital Catapult
5G Blog

Brighton Based 5G Testbed to Support Small Businesses to Go Live with Support From Coast to Capital and Digital Catapult

Brighton, 22 February 2018 - Brighton based small businesses will be amongst the first to benefit from fifth-generation (5G) mobile wireless connection when a state of the art 5G Testbed goes live in April 2018. A £1.2 million Local Growth Fund investment was provided in 2017 by Coast to Capital to build the testbed, which is being delivered by Digital Catapult. Coast to Capital was the first local enterprise partnership (LEP) in the country to fund the building of a 5G testbed of this scale, which will enable small businesses in Brighton to explore how to benefit from the technology.

5G is due to be rolled out across the UK from 2020 and is designed to accommodate the growing number of internet-connected devices worldwide and is ten times faster than the highest speed enabled by 4G. It will provide a much more stable connectivity and supports the development of place-based technologies, like driverless cars and connected smart cities, along with making it easier to run complex mobile apps such as Virtual Reality (VR).

Many small businesses in Brighton are already engaging with the project and exploring the new opportunities, products and ideas the technology will bring. The funding was the first initiative by LEPs for a non-academic facility built to explore access to 5G technology for small businesses. The vision is to create a stable and technically well-supported environment, where startups and scaleups can access the most advanced digital infrastructure solutions, enabling these businesses to grow faster.

Jonathan Sharrock, Coast to Capital Chief Executive said: 

“New digital technologies play a vital role in growing our regional economy and the new testbed will help our small and medium sized business to develop the 5G skills, products and services to compete internationally. We know that 5G will transform the way that people interact with data and mobile technologies and the opening of this testbed is an opportunity to make sure that Brighton based businesses are ones that develop the leading apps of the future.  There are very few testbeds across the country and we are excited by this unique opportunity for businesses in Brighton and the Coast to Capital area.”

Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult said:

“The arrival of 5G will be fundamental to UK economic success and international competitiveness in future. 5G will supercharge communications, transforming the way we live, work and play and drive innovation across industries, from manufacturing to healthcare to the creative industries, where Brighton is particularly prominent.

“The government’s new Industrial Strategy recognises the potential of 5G, but to take full and immediate advantage of this infrastructure, businesses need to be prepared. The establishment of real-scale, open innovation testbeds will meet this need. The 5G testbed that Digital Catapult is delivering in Brighton is the first of this scale outside of academia, but it won’t be the last. It’s our hope that others will follow our example and expand efforts to convene early-stage stakeholders to ensure 5G infrastructure delivers for all.”

For further information please contact:

Brands2Life - [email protected] - 020 7592 1200

Coast to Capital – [email protected] – 01403 333840