Sunderland City Council is building a new 5G centric network to accelerate adoption of transformative digital services for sectors including manufacturing and logistics, education and social care.
"We are harnessing the power of technology and digital transformation for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors to Sunderland," said Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council. "The new network will accelerate the emergence of more smart services including community applications, digital upskilling opportunities and efficiency drives for our advanced manufacturing clusters across the city."
"We have recognised the importance of technology in connecting people and realising opportunities to position Sunderland as a digital frontrunner," she continued. "This new partnership between BAI Communications and Mavenir presents a fully scalable network architecture to unlock innovation and shape the future of our leading smart city."
The new network will help accelerate transformation within various sectors in Sunderland including:
Smart Homes: addressing health and social care requirements supporting vulnerable individuals living in their own homes, providing access to assistive technologies such as sensors and other IoT-enabled devices.
Education: providing enhanced online and remote connectivity and distance learning across Primary Schools and Secondary Schools within the local authority.
Manufacturing: improving supply chain agility for the automotive industry, including applications such as self-driving vehicles and autonomous heavy goods vehicles.
Working in partnership with Mavenir, a network software provider, and BAI Communications, a telecoms infrastructure provider, the initial scope is for the deployment of a city-centre 5G private network which has the potential to evolve and become a neutral host network.
Neutral host models provide coverage and connectivity for smart city initiatives, enabling local councils and authorities to provide smart services and run numerous smart community applications in a more viable and cost-effective manner.
James is the Editor of Government Transformation magazine, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the agenda for the UK's biggest public sector transformation conference.