The Welsh Government will pay BT £190,000 to set up a bespoke 5G enabled immersive classroom as part of the 5G Wales Unlocked project, a trial programme funded by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
According to a procurement notice, the classroom will be a semi-permanent structure in Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent with interactive technologies including 360 degree screens. It is due to start live operation in September following a rapid deployment.
BT is a partner of the 5G Wales Unlocked project, along with Cisco whose equipment will be used to connect the immersive classroom to schools. The notice said that BT has been contracted without competition as the project’s components are provided by consortium partners as part of their agreement. BT has already built such a classroom in North Lanarkshire, which has been used to immerse students in the sights and sounds of being under the ocean, taking part in a safari and seeing the Northern Lights.
As well as education, 5G Wales Unlocked is piloting faster mobile connectivity’s use in transport, tourism and farming in rural and semi-rural areas. Its projects are sited in Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire, with the latter hosting an augmented reality tourism project at Raglan Castle. In Blaenau Gwent, the Welsh Government is working with Thales to set up a cyber security testing campus for vehicles and energy infrastructure as well new accommodation for high-tech businesses.