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Liverpool trials free 5G access

24/05/21

UKA Correspondent

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A health, social care and education project will offer participating residents of Kensington in Liverpool free access to its 5G mesh network, which it believes is the largest of its kind in Europe.

Liverpool 5G Create, which is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s £200 million 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme and led by the University of Liverpool, has built its own high speed network using unlicensed spectrum covering the area. It said this allows it to offer free connectivity to participants in its work.

The project is designed to support interactive health and care services, so it has built a mesh network which relies on line of sight with similar levels of incoming and outgoing capacity rather than using base stations designed mainly to send data. It has also built a ‘digital twin’ of Kensington in working out how to construct this network, which includes 120 outdoor sites and is connected to Liverpool City Council’s network, one of its partners.

The project, which also involves local NHS organisations and a number of technology providers, is using 5G connections for remote monitoring of health conditions, a remote GP triaging service and wound care and management. It runs until March 2022.

Need for SLA

“We knew early on in the project that we needed to develop a new service level agreement that supported the monitoring and delivery of our technologies. Many of the technologies support vulnerable people living independently in the community, so we need to be 100% sure that if sensors detect an older person has fallen, there’s an immediate home visit from a care provider, “ said project director Rosemary Kay.

“This level of personalised commitment is harder for a purely commercially driven operation to support. Our model is designed with this not-for-profit capability in mind.”

Image iStock: kynny

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