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O2 to activate 5G network in June at Millbrook Testing Ground

Jasper Hart
April 12, 2019

The network will be used in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Development

O2 has announced that it will turn on its 5G network at the Millbrook Testing Ground for self-driving cars in Bedfordshire.

The activation of its 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum at the site comes in advance of its first phase of 5G rollout in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff later this year.

Testing of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) on the site will take place as part of the AutoAir 5G project, partly funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Members involved in the project include wireless solution provider Dense Air (who is operating the on-site network of 59 sites and 89 small cells), Airspan Networks, Millbrook, Blu Wireless, Real Wireless, the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre and the R&D arm of racing team McLaren.

Engineering firm Atkins has also signed an agreement to lend its design and engineering expertise to the project, alongside O2.

O2 UK CTO Brendan O’Reilly said: “5G will play a key role in how our country develops over the next few years. If implemented properly, 5G has the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs and enable a new host of technologies – including self-driving vehicles.

“That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting the trial activity at Millbrook, alongside ambitious partners who share our vision of building a truly Mobile Britain.”

Atkins Transportation UK managing director Lizi Stewart added: “This project will transform the way we design, maintain and operate on our future networks. Developing the first 5G neutral network in the UK will allow us to continue our drive for innovation and industry-changing initiatives for the transportation sector.”

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