Minister for Business launches new 5G testbed in Aberdeen
Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee launched a new testbed at the Aberdeen 5G hub, which was recently deployed by the Scotland 5G Centre as part of their S5GConnect programme – which has so far launched five 5G hubs across Scotland.
The testbed, supported by Vodafone and its partner Ericsson, is now live, accessible and open to businesses and organisations to support the application of new 5G-enabled uses across key sectors such as energy, utilities, ports and logistics.
During his visit, Mr McKee enjoyed two demonstrations which balanced the mind-blowing with a sense of practical application.
The first one, developed by the University of Glasgow, consisted of a robotic arm controlled by an operator, who could see, feel and inspect a remote facility with the help of visual and haptic feedback in real time.
The second demo was a training programme using Vodafone’s Mixed Reality solution, by wearing a headset that allows the user to see the physical world alongside digital overlays. These virtual overlays can show instructions, videos or 3D objects. The technology will be used in training to expedite the learning of complex processes and repetitive tasks, as well as for specialists to provide remote support to on-site engineers.
Additionally, canny forward planning by the 5G Centre means they possess capacity to rapidly scale up 5G coverage on their private network. If there was a need, the footprint could extend as far as the harbour area, potentially a smart move given the city’s current offshore renewables focus.
The 5G hub and testbed are set to become a valuable asset to the North East business ecosystem, especially to those organisations interested in finding new solutions through tech innovation.