Rural areas of England are often the poor relations of their urban neighbours when it comes to the roll out of digital infrastructure. Both superfast broadband and mobile services in rural areas still lack the coverage and quality that residents have come to expect across the majority of the population.
Deployment to rural areas is often expensive, technically difficult and so commercially unattractive for network operators. At the same time local authorities (LAs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in rural areas are facing increasing demands for their services from an aging population at a time when their funding has been under increasing pressure. Maintaining current approaches to service delivery is not sustainable and alternative models are required.
The West Mercia 5G Test Bed
Operating in the rural area where the counties of Shropshire and Worcestershire meet the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) funded ‘West Mercia Rural 5G’ will explore infrastructure challenges when planning, building and operating a rural 5G network. The West Mercia 5G team want to test and evaluate 5G enabled technologies that support the delivery of health and social care in rural areas.
Further information on the 5G Test Bed and consortium members can be found here: https://uk5g.org/discover/testbeds-and-trials/west-mercia-rural-5g/
The aim of this campaign is to identify 5G industry partners to join the West Mercia 5G consortium and work with the team to establish how 5G enabled technology can improve health and social care delivery across Shropshire and Worcestershire.
The West Mercia 5G Test Bed will run for 12-18 months. The aim is for successful innovations to be tested on the 5G network from January 2021.
This campaign will run from the 2nd June 2020 to the 15th June 2020.
Campaign Launched: 1200hrs Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Closing date for submissions: 1700hrs Monday 15th June 2020
Clarification Questions from Industry partners received: By 1200hrs Monday 8th June 2020
Information session webinar for Industry Partners: 1200-1400hrs Wednesday 10th June 2020
(further information will be shared in due course)
Shortlisting of Submissions: Tuesday 16th June - Friday 19th June 2020
Notify Shortlisted partners: 1700hrs Friday 19th June 2020
Virtual Interviews for Shortlisted: Thursday 25th June 2020
Preferred Partners(s) notified: 1700hrs Tuesday 30th June 2020