Press Release | 12 Jul 2022

The Scotland 5G Centre turns to Vodafone for 5G networks to support growth of Scottish economy

Vodafone designed and installed the Mobile Private Networks (MPNs) in eight weeks, supporting the digitisation and diversification of local economies.

  • Two new 5G Mobile Private Network (MPN) deployments in Aberdeen and Kilmarnock will support the digitisation and diversification of local economies.
  • Vodafone designed and installed the MPNs in eight weeks.
  • 5G-powered testbed environments will support the creation and acceleration of new 5G services in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, and energy.

The Scotland 5G Centre and Vodafone have delivered two new 5G Mobile Private Networks (MPNs) to develop new uses cases and accelerate the adoption of 5G technology across industry in Scotland.

The 5G MPNs are in The Scotland 5G Centre’s Aberdeen and HALO Kilmarnock innovation hubs. The hubs will help organisations to deliver new applications and services using Vodafone 5G connectivity. Specialist staff will help companies to develop, prototype and test real world, 5G-powered applications and use cases.

By identifying issues faced by local businesses, the partnership will help spur growth in the regions and build use cases that go beyond the ‘proof of concept’ stage. The insights from local businesses will help The Scotland 5G Centre to identify any gaps in skills or infrastructure to support the adoption of emerging technologies.

From commissioning to switch on, the two 5G MPNs were delivered by Vodafone in less than eight weeks.

In Aberdeen, the 5G MPN will power the ONE Tech Hub initiative, a co-working space for entrepreneurs, established businesses, and regional start-ups to drive digitisation and economic diversification in North East Scotland. A particular area of focus will be on how new connectivity and digital services can support the energy, renewables and utilities sector, a major employer in the area.

'Full 5G must benefit the whole of the UK, not just the big cities'

As Vodafone publishes its Digital Ambition 2030 report, Ahmed Essam, Vodafone's UK CEO, warns that the UK could miss out on £7bn of economic benefit if full 5G investment isn't extended to towns and smaller cities.

At the Kilmarnock site, the 5G MPN will power HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre, a regeneration initiative to revitalise cities and towns in a collaboration of education and enterprise.

Kim Moran-Hogg, Regional Director for Vodafone UK, said: “We are working with The Scotland 5G Centre to help open up new opportunities for Scottish businesses. By combining our connectivity with local knowledge of the businesses and industries, we can help the Scottish economy to benefit from a 5G connected world.

“This partnership is about understanding the problems that local businesses face, and developing cutting edge solutions together. 5G will power the future of Scotland’s economy, and help us build an inclusive and sustainable digital society.”

Lara Moloney, Head of the S5GConnect Programme at The Scotland 5G Centre commented: “We are extremely excited to work with Vodafone at these two additional locations as part of our network of Innovation hubs across Scotland. Working together to provide 5G access, market education and insight for digital infrastructure and it’s potential ROI for industry offers a competitive advantage to organisations that utilise these unique and high quality services. We are looking forward to supporting ambitious businesses on their 5G journey as we continue to evolve the 5G ecosystem for the benefit of Scottish citizens and the economy.”

A Mobile Private Network (MPN) is an isolated wireless data network offering 4G and 5G connectivity, dedicated to the customer. MPNs are growing in popularity across industries including manufacturing, healthcare, and energy because they provide a secure, reliable and flexible way to introduce and manage digital technologies.

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Notes to Editor:

1 What is a Mobile Private Network (MPN)?

A Mobile Private Network (MPN) is a scaled down and isolated data network offering 4G & 5G data services, which is dedicated to the business customer use. Vodafone installs dedicated, secure Core infrastructure as well as a Radio Access Network (the antennas that connect devices) that covers the customers in-building and/or outdoor coverage requirements. Most importantly, this network is only accessible by devices and machines that the customer allows. It is private in the sense that it is isolated from the general public.

2 Why would customers want a private network when the Vodafone network is available across the UK?

With the data core co-located with the Radio Access Network, Vodafone can provide low latency data services, and meet customers’ specific demands for network performance. Some customers have specialist coverage or performance requirements that cannot be met by the public network. These requirements could be coverage, device capacity, security or the need to customise network performance in a specific way. By building a private network which is dedicated to a specific customer, Vodafone can tailor the performance metric, and these can be easily modified or upgraded as required.

3 What other MPNs have Vodafone deployed?

MPNs are becoming increasingly popular – some key examples include:

  • Plymouth Smart Sound Connect :Vodafone has been working with Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) since 2019 to build and manage an MPN in the Sound. This will be the worlds’ first marine-based 5G testbed, enabling local and international companies and research organisations to test marine 5G use cases. The MPN in the Plymouth Sound features five mobile masts (including one on a Napoleonic-era fort in the middle of the bay) as well as on-site servers.
  • Horiba Mira: Horiba Mira is an automotive engineering and development consultancy that provides product testing, research and certification services to the automotive industry. Vodafone has been working with the Horiba Mira team to deploy a MPN which will guarantee low-latency and enhanced bandwidth capabilities which will help the company test self-driving vehicles on its test track near Nuneaton.
  • Ford: Ford and Vodafone have deployed a MPN in its E:PrimE (Electrified Powertrain in Manufacturing Engineering) facility in Dunton, Essex. The 5G MPN is helping to create the factory of the future. Initially, the work will focus on its welding machines in the manufacture of electric vehicles. According to Ford, batteries and electric motors within an electric vehicle require around 1,000 welds, which has to be done with incredible precision. To ensure this work is as efficient and accurate as possible, Ford use an artificial intelligence-powered production line, which is only possible with the customised and guaranteed performance of a MPN.

About The Scotland 5G Centre

The Scotland 5G Centre was set up in October 2019 as the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G and realising its economic and societal potential for Scotland.

The Centre enables all types of businesses to reap the benefits of this innovative technology. It is an innovative partnership between the University of Strathclyde (which hosts the Centre), the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Futures Trust, with investment from the Scottish Government.

More information can be found at

  • https://scotland5gcentre.org/
  • @scot5gcentre
  • linkedin.com/company/scotland-5g-centre/about/

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of March 2022, we have 5G in 380 locations across Europe – 141 in the UK and 239 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 26 UK towns and cities, rising to 35 over the coming months, through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach. Our full fibre services are now available to more than eight million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

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