5G. We'll keep you connected.

We’re working with the 5G Innovation Centre and the Met Office to build a ‘digital twin’ of the real world.

Together, we’ll plan and develop a tool that lets network providers visualise the best locations for placing radio antennae – to help deliver faster network speeds and better coverage that will cater for the increase of mobile and connected devices.

Bournemouth has been chosen to help model the planning tool to see how it can be rolled out nationally, so the next generation of wireless communications brings internet-connected devices into everyday life.

Updates

What is 5G and why is location important?

Connectivity will all depend on placing access points correctly; knowing what’s physically in the way of signals.

Read article

Project aims

  • Capture real-world features in detail, using a resolution of 10cm. Features include street furniture such as lamp-posts, road signs, bus stops, and also natural items such as trees.
  • Build a 'digital twin' of the real world for Bournemouth, to enable accurate modelling of signal coverage.
  • Build a demonstration trial tool to help Government and network planners visualise how the rollout of the future 5G communications network can work.
  • Fully document for Government and network operators, an approach to successfully rolling out 5G on a national scale.
  • Fully document our experiments, experience and learnings from the project.

Digital image of St. Peter's Church in Bournemouth

Enabling Smart

The 5G network will provide the extra bandwidth needed to connect thousands of sensors and beacons, the internet of everything.

These sensors will help people daily, whether it’s telling driverless cars to slow down because sensors have detected an accident up ahead; showing exactly where a bus is on its route, and the number of people waiting at each stop; or allowing industrial vehicles to be controlled remotely. The possibilities are vast.

OS image of St. Peter's Church in Bournemouth with oblique imagery from Leica Geosystems

Prime location

A huge amount of equipment is needed to make the 5G network robust because the network will have a larger bandwidth and higher frequencies at a shorter range. It’s vital that nothing interferes with the signal.

As well as containing every mapped feature from the ground upwards, the digital model will bring in radio spectrum and meteorological data to expose areas at risk of poor signal. It will include information about current and predicted weather conditions, the position of tree foliage and vegetation, and details of future building projects, meaning mobile operators can plan reliable 5G signal coverage over the coming years.

OS image of Bournemouth with oblique imagery from Leica Geosystems

Visualise data in minutes

By visualising all this data from the comfort of a desk, network providers will be able to construct a virtual network in minutes – saving money, time and resource.

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