Mobile World Congress 2019 is just around the corner and in the technology world it is at the front of everybody’s minds.
At MWC 2018 5G and IoT were the topic of conversation, and in some sessions, the challenges of rural connectivity. The GSMA’s recent Mobile Industry Impact Report showed mobile coverage is increasing, with 400 million more people benefiting from mobile connectivity since 2015. But more work needs to be done, especially in rural areas.
Recognising that this would be a key challenge for the industry to overcome and being cognisant of the limited investment in “Beyond the City” connectivity, 5G RuralFirst was born. As announced in March 2018, it was one of 6 winners in the UK Government 5G Testbed and Trial competition. Putting rural connectivity at the heart of 5G innovation is in our DNA, and we hope that the innovative approaches, technologies, and business models that are needed to make this happen will form part of the conversation at MWC.
Having kick started the project in June, we’ve spent the past nine months exploring the value and viability of connecting some of the most remote areas in the UK, as well as the impact 5G will have on the farms of the future. We have come a long way since then, creating what we think could be one of the world’s most ambitious rural 5G trials. The project has highlighted some of the biggest challenges facing the UK’s digital divide as well as new business cases and technologies needed to support rural industries and communities.
Meet the 5G RuralFirst Family
We are delighted to say that 5G RuralFirst will be present at this year’s show, taking centre stage on our project lead Cisco’s stand 3E30 in Hall 3. There’ll be opportunities to:
- Discuss the extensive range of 5G use cases that we are trialling, each aimed at addressing at least one aspect of the 5G rural connectivity challenge
- Learn more about the Cisco tech that supports our use cases, including the Cisco Ultra 5G Packet Core
- Meet the Cisco Customer Experience team delivering the core
- See live demos from the 5G RuralFirst consortium, including drones from Precision Decisions and Connected Cows from Afimilk
Our principle partner University of Strathclyde will be available to showcase Dynamic Spectrum Sharing using Lime Microsystems software defined radios, coupled with Fair Spectrum technology whilst Agri-EPI Centre will be demoing cattle monitoring. The BBC team, who have one of the leading broadcast R&D organisations in the world, will also be on hand to answer any questions you have on their broadcast over 5G trial. There is plenty to see, so do stop by next week. We would love to show you the value deploying 5G technology can have in rural areas.
We’ve got something special due to launch at the show… the giant cow’s head could be a clue. Speak to one of the team to find out more!
But that’s not all. 5G RuralFirst will be present across the exhibition at Fira Gran Via. In Hall 5 stand 5I5, you will find our project partners Parallel Wireless, who can provide a lowdown on our community mobile broadband use cases taking place in the Orkney Islands. In Hall 6, stand 6M57, Nominet can tell you how they use their technology to maximise spectrum usage. In Hall 7, stand 7C62, meet with Zeetta Networks, who can explain all there is to know about network slicing. pureLiFi, a key player in our lighthouse/spectrum free fixed wireless trial, can be found at stand 7B75 where they will be demonstrating Gigabit LiFi.
Our partner Microsoft, who supports the dynamic and shared spectrum access trial, can be found across Halls 2 & 3. Nokia can be found in Hall 3 and you can see Accelleran and Lime Microsystems on the TIP stands in the 4YFN hall in Montjuic Hall.
Finally look out for our friends at Telint, University of Surrey and Scottish Futures Trust who will be attending next week as well.
If you simply can’t wait until next week to hear all about our project why not brush up on your knowledge with Cisco’s 5G RuralFirst dedicated podcast!
We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona. If you are can’t make it this year, catch the action on twitter @5GRuralFirst.
¡Nos vemos pronto!