News | 15 Jul 2021

5G RuralDorset innovations wow Government minister

Vodafone 5G is enabling not only rural mobile coverage on the Jurassic Coast, but erosion monitoring and defence research, too.

Matt Warman, the Minister for Digital Infrastructure, visited 5G RuralDorset, the research testbed in the south west of England that is trialling the advanced mobile network technology in a number of scenarios.

There, he learnt about Vodafone’s efforts to serve local rural communities, businesses and the public sector.

A Vodafone mast is already providing 5G service to the village of Worth Matravers. While a separate effort from the 4G Shared Rural Network (or SRN), it too ensures that local people can use mobile signal to stay connected to the people and things they care about.

The 5G signal can also be used as an alternative to fixed-line home broadband and to connect Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Local authorities, for example, could use IoT to help people with special needs to live as independently as possible.

As part of the 5G RuralDorset project, a Vodafone 5G mobile private network (or MPN) is up and running inside the Ministry of Defence’s New BattleLab. With 5G’s speed and low latency, plus the security of a private network, innovators can use it to develop and test complex new projects, such as those involving virtual reality and augmented reality while on the move.

“5G is about more than just having a faster mobile phone, and these projects in Dorset are part of innovative trials the Government is funding to find new ways it can improve people’s lives,” Mr Warman said.

“I look forward to seeing how they can boost public safety in our coastal communities and position the UK as a true world leader in 5G.”

Vodafone has also been involved with a project to use IoT sensors to monitor coastal erosion, a significant problem on the Dorset coastline. The company has been working with ARM, the creators of the designs behind the majority of the world’s smartphone processors, to develop smaller IoT chips with longer battery life as well as increased reliability and security.

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