Zeetta Networks is proud to announce that we are a technology partner in a new £4.3 million 5G RuralFirst project led by Cisco to deliver testbeds and trials to address the pressing challenges of rural 5G.

The 5G RuralFirst project is one of six projects to win a slice of £25 million of public funding to help trial the next generation of 5G-based mobile and fixed wireless broadband ISP technology across the UK from Orkney to Somerset.

Earlier this month, the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) announced the winners as part of its plan to position the UK as a global leader in 5G technology. 5G RuralFirst is a collaboration between Cisco and the University of Strathclyde to explore 5G for rural areas, including smart farming (drones, autonomous farm vehicles and remote veterinary inspections), spectrum sharing, broadcast radio over 5G, and IoT to improve utilities in remote areas.

Zeetta Networks’ enabling NetOS® technology will provide networks that can be controlled and managed by multiple partners, multiple vendors, multiple tenants, each able to control and manage their own slice, as if they had their own dedicated network. This open technology results in greater efficiency and monetization of network resources; driving down network costs whilst improving scalability, flexibility, and end-user experience.

As testament to the vital importance of this project the coverage has been widespread, from the technology and business press to the specific rural regional areas that these new developments will boost.

In CNET, Scot Gardner, UK CEO of Cisco, stresses the urgent need to implement these trials on 5G now:

“Digital economies rely on connectivity so the UK can’t sit and wait. We need to be trialling now, understanding what 5G can do right across the UK.”

The announcement affects Scotland in particular, with businesses in Orkney being chosen as a test for the 5G technology, which could lead to them benefiting from advanced mobile broadband connections. Orkney will also be the test ground for new 5G radio using high frequency. Cisco’s Scot Gardner continues in the Scotsman:

“…the venture would benefit islanders as well as help the rest of the country realise what 5G makes possible. 5G has huge interest, but now we have to make it real – not just for cities but for everyone, including into rural communities.”

In City AM, Professor Rahim Tafazolli, founder and director of 5GIC and leader of 5GUK Networks focused on the impact of 5G across all areas of our daily lives and its economic value.

“5G represents a fundamental transformation of the role that mobile technology plays in society, delivering rich new services in sectors such as finance, transport, retail and health. It will drive trillions of dollars of additional activity through the world digital economy.”

The benefits of 5G to the digital economy was furthered in a statement by the digital and creative industries minister Margot James, in Computer Weekly:

“We are delivering on our commitments to create a Britain fit for the future, with a thriving digital economy that works for everyone. The ground-breaking projects announced today will help to unlock 5G and ensure the benefits of this new technology are felt across the economy and wider society.”

ISP review covered the spectrum usage in more detail, reporting that Ofcom expects that the 700MHz band will help to deliver cost-effective and wide 5G mobile coverage in rural areas. The bands around 3-6GHz will focus more on urban areas where their limited range will focus on areas of high demand, while the very high frequencies above 24GHz should support fixed wireless links to homes and businesses.

The coverage did not stop there with articles in: Computing, Computer Weekly, Mobile World Live, Total Tele, Mobile Marketing, Tech Radar, A516 Digital, Silicon.co.uk, Business Matters Magazine, Telecoms.com, Future Scot, and Scottish Business News Network.

You can read the official Government press release here.

Double win: 5G Smart Tourism project

Zeetta Networks’ tech will also play a fundamental role in the 5G-Smart Tourism project led by the West of England Combined Authority. This project is another of these six 5G government projects and was awarded £5m in the latest budget to create enhanced visual experiences for tourists using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in Bath and Bristol.

For more information on these exciting projects, do get in touch with the team.