City chiefs hope that Glasgow could become the UK’s testbed for the next generation of mobile technology.
The local authority has announced it will apply for up to £100m available from the UK Government to trial innovative uses of 5G, which is due to be launched in the UK in 2020.
If successful, Glasgow aims to use next generation infrastructure to boost the city’s economy by offering increased education and employment opportunities.
5G is expected to be considerably faster and more reliable than 4G with fewer delays and higher definition images.
Council bosses believe it could transform the way businesses and services in the city work.
The Department for Digital, Cultural, Media and Sport (DCMS) is offering investment in a UK city as part of its 5G Testbed and Trials Programme. If Glasgow secures the funding, it would be used to install infrastructure to support 5G trials and push the boundaries of how next generation mobile technology could be used to improve daily life.
Cross-sector collaboration would be key to Glasgow’s project which would involve the city council and partners in the public, private, academic and Third sectors as well as SMEs.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow has ambitions to be a world class city in which everyone flourishes and, if successful, this funding bid could help put us ahead of the curve in digital connectivity.
“We believe Glasgow is ideally placed to push the boundaries of 5G application by devising pioneering ways of using this powerful new technology to improve life in the city.
“Glasgow has a growing economy with a thriving tech sector, a highly skilled workforce, two Innovation Districts and world-class sporting, conference and entertainment venues. We have also proved our ability to deliver large scale, leading- edge technology projects with the £24m Future City Glasgow programme.
“However, the city also faces challenges in areas such as health, poverty and unemployment. Investing in digital connectivity has huge potential to help us tackle these issues in new and creative ways - ensuring all sectors of the city benefit from this digital revolution.”
The closing date for funding applications is June 5 and DCMS is expected to select the successful city by the end of July then work with them to develop the project.