Aberdeen bids to become UK testing ground for 5G technology

Aberdeen has emerged as the second Scottish city hoping to become the UK's test bed for the next generation of mobile technology.

Aberdeen is bidding to become a testing ground for 5G technology. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Aberdeen is bidding to become a testing ground for 5G technology. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Council bosses have submitted an application to the UK Government’s 5G Urban Connected Communities project, which will see funding awarded to successful bidders to trial emerging 5G technologies for residents and businesses.

The bid follows the announcement in February that Aberdeen is to become Scotland’s first gigabit city through a £40m investment from CityFibre. The firm is working in partnership with Vodafone to deliver full-fibre broadband throughout the city.

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The 5G project will tap into £200million of funding to support the development of mobile connectivity and to test solutions to existing challenges.

Aberdeen has previously led in 4G pilot schemes and, through the Aberdeen City Region Deal, is moving forward with plans to deliver a city wide IoT Network and a Regional Data Exchange Platform as integral parts of the bid and the Smart City vision.

Councillor Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “Our ambitions are for a smart city where technology is the driver for a prosperous future for residents and businesses.

“Digital infrastructure is vitally important to realising that vision and already significant progress is being made. We are proud of the work to become a gigabit city and the role the Council, through its own investment in infrastructure for public buildings, has played.

“There is a real determination to build on the foundations already in place and this bid is an example of that forward-thinking attitude. There will be stern competition - but we believe Aberdeen has a compelling case.”