BT installs 5G network at University of Warwick

BT has switched on the UK’s first dedicated public 5G network for a connected campus at the University of Warwick.

The network is part of a collaboration between the telco, the University of Warwick and Warwickshire County Council, and will bring 5G mobile coverage to University students, staff and visitors across the 720-acre site, and to people in surrounding areas through BT's EE mobile network.

The commercial 5G installation is the first stage of an alliance between BT and the University to accelerate the creation of 5G capabilities within the campus and for industries across the UK.

The installation of a public 5G cell site on University of Warwick’s main campus will mark the University as an early adopter of 5G technology and a testbed for research, industry and consumer 5G use case development.

BT will also begin to extend 5G network coverage to the University’s Creative and Digital Communities incubator, to support companies working with the University and those in the Leamington Spa area where there is a cluster of gaming companies operating.

Among the 5G projects the university and BT are working together on include Europe’s first Connected Autonomous Mobility (CAM) demonstration over a public 5G network. The demo, being undertaken by WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick, will explore Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication scenarios with two connected autonomous pods exchanging live data feeds. These will include LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data and live video alerts of road obstacles, to enhance future road and pedestrian safety.

BT is also working with the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering to pioneer 5G for medical technology. The School of Engineering will explore how 5G could be used to help people and monitor their ‘Health and Wellness’ throughout their normal daily activities. In addition, The Institute of Digital Health and Warwick Medical School will also look to understand how 5G might have positive impacts on the healthcare sector.

According to David Plumb, the University of Warwick’s chief innovation officer, the alliance with BT will give the university “the advantage of being an early adopter of 5G technology”.

“Our public 5G connected campus will: support new areas of research; enable new teaching technologies; help us to support even more regional businesses; and it will add to students’ campus experience be it in teaching, esports or simply through an enhanced performance on mobile devices,” he said.

BT, the University of Warwick and Warwickshire County Council are also launching a series of streamed events to help businesses get to grips with 5G. These will be held in late November and focus on 5G in Health and Wellbeing, Creative and Digital, and Industry 4.0.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.