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Delivering a Connected Future for Scotland

First published in Future Scot magazine

 

Connecting communities using 5G-enabled technologies will be life-changing, allowing individuals and businesses to significantly improve their quality of living and working through utilising a range of smart devices and applications.

Realising the enormous potential of 5G and advanced technologies is crucial for Scotland to recover post-pandemic.  Not only will 5G create thousands of new jobs and opportunities across the country, but its deployment will also be the key to tackling digital poverty and exclusion, ensuring that everyone in Scotland, regardless of their location, has access to high-speed connectivity.

Leading the charge to support the Government’s Digital and Net Zero Economy strategies is the Scotland 5G Centre. We are the key connectivity enabler for Scotland and our remit is to accelerate the deployment and adoption of 5G across the country, which in turn will deliver huge social, economic and environmental benefits.

For example, enhanced connectivity can support Scotland’s objective to build a Net-Zero carbon nation. Innovation and the introduction of 5G networks will offer new opportunities to speed up energy transition to a decarbonised economy and society.  5G network slicing is an ideal choice to enable smart grid services for example.  5G network slicing allows the power grid to flexibly customize and offer different services based on differing needs and requirements of the various services on a power grid.

While the pandemic shone a spotlight on the many areas facing challenges with digital connectivity, 5G technology also offers an unprecedented chance to increase connectivity in the country, particularly in rural areas. Recognising this, connectivity is the critical enabler for our key priorities; such as Net Zero, manufacturing, and agriculture.  These will only prosper and remain competitive through the enablement of high-bandwidth connectivity services and underpins the future for the Scotland 5G Centre.

Through our S5GConnect programme, we are ensuring that businesses across Scotland have access to advanced 5G networks, professional support, and consultancy through our growing network of strategically placed S5GConnect hubs which will span the country in both, urban and rural areas.

The Centre is also uniquely positioned to be connected to industry, government, telecom providers and academia – allowing us to work collaboratively to support the delivery of advanced communications that are future proofed to support the country’s digital needs.

Most recently, funding from The Scotland 5G Centre allowed our partners at the University of Glasgow to create a 5G testbed and demonstrate remote robotics, creating a new immersive learning experience, available to students globally as well as providing a blueprint to develop a range of exciting new commercial opportunities.

Beyond connectivity, the roll out and adoption of 5G is critical to the success of our Nation’s industries to keep abreast of competing nations who are investing heavily in this technology.

Real change is happening and it is clear to me that Scotland’s future will be formed and shaped within a digital world.  Only by taking a joined-up approach with 5G and high-bandwidth connectivity at the centre of each of these major initiatives, can Scotland achieve its full potential, drive innovation and lead the digital revolution.  

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