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West Midlands lays ground for 5G application accelerator


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has put out a call for partners to help it set up a 5G application accelerator.

This will provide support for public and private sector organisations in testing new 5G services, with the aim of scaling them up in a real world environment.

The move is part of the 5G testbed programme for which WMCA received £25 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport last year.

WM5G, the company set up to run the programme, has published a procurement notice inviting bids to create the application accelerator, indicating it could be worth £9 million over two years beginning in March 2020.

It said the role will be to demonstrate the benefits of 5G to all types of organisations then work with scale-up businesses to test new services, taking in the public sector and business.

WMCA is creating the UK’s first region-wide testbed for 5G technology. It has previously indicated plans for to run a series of popup demonstrations at a site in Birmingham aimed at showing the benefits of various use cases.

Its work is expected to focus partly on the healthcare sector.

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