The UK’s first standalone 5G network powers up Milton Keynes

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The UK’s first standalone 5G network is now up and running in Milton Keynes – powering up robots, medical devices, driverless cars, and energy saving devices to keep residents healthy and the city moving and sustainable.

MK:5G, awarded Local Growth Funding (LGF) by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) in 2018, is now live and operating.

Via its MK:5G Accelerator programme, managed by Milton Keynes Council and led by Connected Places Catapult, businesses from across the UK are now trialling this next generation of mobile internet connection in Milton Keynes, using the new 5G to do everything from managing traffic flow and powering up driverless vehicles, to enabling patients to be monitored without having to see a specialist or leave their homes.

Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, said: “This SEMLEP investment has put Milton Keynes is an incredible position, enabling businesses in the city to advance and deploy real solutions to issues and challenges that affect us all. Thanks to MK:5G’s success and innovation, the project has attracted a lot of positive attention and secured additional investment from government.”

Connected Places Catapult Chief Technology Officer, Mark Westwood said: ”The companies chosen to pilot the 5G technology cover a diverse range of product offerings and we are excited by what we are already seeing them achieve, utilising the 5G to power up their mobility, health and wellbeing, low carbon and data projects.”

Darko Atijas, Managing Director of True Altitude, said “Running the MK:5G programme and working closely with innovative SMEs solving tomorrow’s problems has been a fantastic experience. Providing bespoke business coaching and growth planning, investor introductions, workshops, seminars, and targeted mentoring sessions has seen our cohort secure commercial outcomes and an enhanced product offering. Whether that be general business development or fundraising, it’s been rewarding to support these pioneering SMEs in reaching the next stage of their journey.”

Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes Council, added: “This is a huge and important step in Milton Keynes’ journey to becoming a cleaner, greener and a smarter city. The new technology brings several significant benefits, ranging from managing traffic flow to providing better healthcare. The project has been a fantastic example of collaboration between Milton Keynes Council, SEMLEP and some of the UKs leading technology companies.”

Here are a few of the businesses trialling MK:5G technology to progress innovative projects and products in Milton Keynes:

  • Fotech: Smart traffic management in Milton Keynes to address congestion and improve road safety and air quality.
  • Kar-go: A state-of-the-art self-driving delivery bot providing contact-free delivery.
  • Imperium Drive: rolling out and commercialising one of the UK’s most advanced remote driving technologies for autonomous vehicles.
  • Briteyellow: A new app and wearable smart device for vulnerable and elderly people, designed to save lives.
  • WarnerPatch: Reducing emergency surgeries and hospital re-admissions for patients with cancer and chronic illnesses.