Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee, observes a remote training demonstration of an offshore windfarm using a robotic arm at the opening of S5G Connect at ONE Tech Hub
The S5Connect Aberdeen testbed, based at ONE Tech Hub, the home of digital tech in North East Scotland, is now live, accessible and open to the market. The new facility and testbed will allow businesses of all sizes to test and develop new 5G applications and accelerate new digital services and operations in the region.
The Scotland 5G Centre announced the deployment of a new 5G Testbed in Aberdeen in March, in partnership with ONE, to unlock the transformational benefits of 5G for Scottish businesses, public sector organisations and Scottish communities. The partnership is supported by Vodafone and global 5G technology leader Ericsson with the Mobile Private Network (MPN) being deployed in just 8 weeks.
As part of the launch in Aberdeen, Scottish Government’s Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee, visited the site and experienced 5G capability first-hand. He observed a remote training demonstration of an offshore windfarm using a robotic arm. This 5G-enabled teleoperation demonstrates how skills can be the delivered remotely over wireless links offering new opportunities and capabilities to the energy industry.
This real-time demonstration is possible by using the low latency and high reliability of an Ericsson 5G private network while the advantage of installing an MPN on-site offers more control on how the network is customised and configured. The robotic arm was controlled by a remote operator, who could see, feel and experience the environment during the inspection with the help of visual and haptic feedback.
Vodafone demonstrated a fault detection training programme and Ivan McKee was introduced to Vodafone’s Mixed Reality solution. The technology allows the user to see the physical world alongside digital overlays. These could come in the form of instructions, videos or 3-D objects like a car. The technology will be used in training to improve the learning of complex processes and the speed of completing repetitive tasks, as well as for specialists to provide remote support to on-site engineers.
The 5G hub is open to local businesses who are interested in the opportunities 5G provides. Visitors can access support from the S5GConnect team and see first-hand the benefits of the live test bed. The hub will benefit businesses in the area that are planning to integrate advanced connectivity to improve their business performance.
Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “Transformative 5G technology has the potential to revitalise businesses across the country and I congratulate those behind these innovative demonstrations.
“The new Aberdeen 5G Innovation Hub will help boost the economy and encourage entrepreneurship in the North East, helping small and medium-sized enterprises with the skills they need to understand how 5G can benefit their business.
“Collaboration between innovation hubs like this and industry can transform businesses and create opportunities for increased productivity, cost savings and sustainability. I encourage the energy sector – locally and further afield – to take advantage of the technology and expertise on offer to help innovate and grow your business.”
Paul Coffey, Chief Executive of The Scotland 5G Centre said: “Our live 5G Testbed in Aberdeen demonstrates the way that we are forging ahead to collaborate effectively, encourage innovation, adopt digital technology, and boost productivity.
“5G is a technology that enables new ways to do business. The live testbed and the technical support we provide allow new ways of working to flourish. Our S5GConnect hubs will facilitate the development of new thinking to help businesses explore and develop innovative processes and systems.
“Aberdeen and the North East has a wealth of engineers, technology experts and pioneering businesses that are looking to take advantage of recent technology and now S5GConnect is here to support their business growth ambitions. We are opening doors to industry to trail solutions that will be transformational and can help businesses gain competitive advantage in a local, national and global arena.”
Karen O’Hanlon, Director Digital Tech Opportunity North East said: “ONE Tech Hub is the anchor point for the region’s fast-growing tech community and home to a growing number of leading partner organisations connecting digital tech businesses with expertise and specialist technology to help them go further faster.
“The new Scotland 5G centre partnership and 5G testbed with onsite support will give businesses and tech developers the opportunity to work with expert advisors to demonstrate, develop and apply 5G connectivity in new applications and be part of the transformative 5G technology ecosystem to help accelerate growth.”
Kim Moran-Hogg, Head of Scotland & Northern Ireland, Vodafone Business, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Scotland 5G Centre to make sure Scottish businesses and public bodies have access to research centres powered by state-of-the-art private networks. It’s vital that leading-edge technologies are available right across the UK and this centre of excellence in Aberdeen can be a showcase for Scotland and the whole of the UK.”
The Scotland 5G Centre has teamed up with Vodafone to develop a 5G Mobile Private Network (MPN) at its S5GConnect Hub in Kilmarnock. The 5G MPN will power HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre, a regeneration initiative focused on education and collaboration to revitalise urban cities and towns. The hub also offers access to industry, academia and the public sector in the area.
The Scotland 5G Centre was set up in October 2019 as the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G and realising its economic and societal potential for Scotland.
The Centre enables all types of businesses to reap the benefits of this new technology. It is an innovative partnership between the University of Strathclyde (which hosts the Centre), the University of Glasgow and Scottish Futures Trust, with investment from the Scottish Government. It works to bring together academia, industry, and government bodies to increase the adoption of 5G services; accelerate the rollout of 5G infrastructure; and leverage advances in mobile technology to address the challenges facing rural communities in Scotland.
The S5GConnect Programme delivers the next stage of the Scottish Government’s 5G strategy with a series of hubs as part of the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government. The Hubs support economic growth through the deployment and adoption of 5G services across the country and are supported by a £4m investment from the Scottish Government. More information can be found at https://scotland5gcentre.org/
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