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British 5G developers to test their mettle in South Korea

DCMS launches £2.4m project to support the development of 5G applications for public transport alongside its South Korean counterpart

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has teamed up with the South Korean government to run a £2.4m project that will uncover innovative 5G applications developed in the UK and run pilot projects on the Seoul metro system.

The selected projects will travel to Seoul to take part in the trials, testing live content and services that could include, for example, augmented reality (AR) experiences for tourists, optimisation of commuter flows through station environments, and uninterrupted entertainment and information services for commuters.

“We want the UK to be a world leader in 5G services, and this collaboration with South Korea will create new opportunities for UK businesses abroad and encourage more inward investment,” said digital minister Margot James.

“The UK has a huge pool of 5G scientific research and engineering talent, and I would encourage all businesses in this field to enter this innovative competition.”

Dong Ku Kim, chairman of South Korea’s 5G Forum executive committee, said: “British businesses are renowned for their creative content, design and innovation. We welcome the chance for our technologists and researchers to collaborate with them to create the next generation of mobile entertainment and services.”

With South Korea widely held to be substantially further along the road to 5G than the UK, the government hopes that the competition – run through the UK’s 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme – will deliver new partnerships between British and South Korean technology companies, bring inward investment from South Korea to the UK, and give British industry and academia better access to South Korean technology and expertise.

The testing environment will be provided by South Korean network partners using a hybrid 4G/5G network, although any systems tested must be designed and optimised for 5G. Passengers on the Seoul metro system are already able to receive high-bandwidth services of up to 1.5Gbps.

DCMS is making £1.2m funding available to deliver the project, which will run until the end of March 2021.

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