The UK government opened applications for its 5G City scheme – a multi-million pound initiative to trial next generation technologies across a medium-sized urban area.
Once deployed, the infrastructure is expected to support applications including video health consultations, real-time traffic management, augmented and virtual reality tourism experiences, and smart manufacturing.
Funding will come from a £200 million pot earmarked for 5G development and is part of a £1 billion investment in infrastructure pledged by the government to accelerate development and deployment of next generation technologies. A number of other initiatives were announced earlier this year.
In a statement, The UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it expected the winning bidder to be an area with a population of around 500,000.
UK digital minister Margot James added: “This is a huge opportunity for an urban area to become the flagship of our ambitious programme to make Britain fit for the future and a world leader in 5G.”
“Trialling 5G at scale across an entire city is a chance to prove the economic benefits predicted from this new technology, test different methods of deployment and boost the connectivity of ordinary people working and living there,” she added.
Applications close on 5 June and the result is expected to be announced later in the summer.