Making more money with 5G
An exact digital replica of Bournemouth is being built to help you do better business in the North West. It is part of an IT revolution which promises to be as large as the original internet.
Right up your street
Bournemouth is a retiring sort of place nestling on the Dorset coast. It couldn't be more average.
Which is why it has been chosen to pioneer the way in which thousands of small companies can expect to do better business from 2020 onwards - just three years away.
What is happening in the streets of Bournemouth today could affect how you and your customers live, work, spend, invest and play starting in as little as 40 months from now.
5G - harmonious disruptive technology
5G broadband is coming. It is called a 'general purpose technology' because it will help to drive an industry and community-wide range of new ultra-smart services.
The UK has struggled with 4G, ranking only 54th in the world. In fact Bournemouth has one of the worst 4G records in the country. But Britain is planning to do much, much better with the new ubiquitous 5G.
This is because 5G will have to be everywhere, reliable, secure and extremely fast at all times.
Above all, 5G will be a lot cheaper, opening up huge opportunities for small businesses to deliver exciting services. By one estimate, 5G will be worth $12.3 trillion to the world economy by 2035.
5G has also been described as the 'Massive Internet-of-Things' to differentiate it from the old, slow 4G 'Internet-of-Things' that hasn't even been created yet!
How will 5G help me?
5G will be the power behind every smart device in business. By 2020, there will be 50 to 100 billion commercial devices worldwide 'talking' to each other continuously in a totally immersive information environment.
The business card in your pocket will talk to other business cards when you enter a room. It will also chat to the camera embedded in your spectacles with facial-recognition capabilities. Both will be connected to the wider world.
In parallel, your client's stock system may talk directly to your own warehouse or suppliers, discussing prices and availability, and making automatic delivery arrangements on an efficient, low-cost just-in-time basis.
Supply chains will be fully-integrated; you won't need to tie up capital in idle stock. You will also have instant access to data on your customers' buying history and preferences.
Mobile on the move
Another much talked about 5G technology will be driverless cars and smart transport systems. One of the UK's 5G infrastructure priorities is developing 5G-enabled railway lines and road networks.
Smart-roads will be vital for driverless-vehicles - an example of Mission Critical Services (MCS) - that can avoid other traffic and obstacles.
However, the smart technology will not stop there. UK motorways are already embedded with intelligent sensors that can report on traffic flow patterns, potential bottlenecks and delays.
Advanced traffic systems will also 'talk' to individual cars. These in turn will also communicate with each other. Their joint 'swarm' information will help to predict and prevent congestion, pollution black-spots and inefficient fuel-use, albeit from green electricity.
Smart cities will guide drivers to vacant parking places and switch on street lights for emergency services. Sat nav data will be projected into windscreens.
Cheaper utilities and smart homes
Utilities too will be far more efficient and cost-effective with 5G, from the smart use of ventilation and heating through to energy, water, IT services and waste minimisation and recycling systems.
Expect early warnings about blocked drains! It's all money saved or money earned for the right supplier.
Homes will become a digital-enhanced paradise - given adequate security to guard against cyber abuse - with fridges, washing machines and other white goods interacting to keep you and your customers happy and fully stocked.
Bournemouth is trialling the precise 3D modelling needed to achieve all these goals. It is a Government scheme run by Ordinance Survey with the University of Surrey and the Met Office.
Not only will every bus stop, road sign, lamp post and radio spectrum be modelled, the project is sophisticated enough to include seasonal and extreme weather data.
A major aim is to determine how many and where 5G antenna must be sited.