• VfUK set to deploy macro 5G coverage along regional CAM route.
  • Move builds on OpCo’s existing future mobility partnership in region, and efforts to tap into key UK government 5G development programme.

Vodafone brings 5G to UK CAM testbed

Vodafone brings 5G to UK CAM testbed

Source: Nirmal Rajendharkumar / Unsplash

Vodafone UK (VfUK) joined the Midlands Future Mobility consortium, a group seeking to utilise a UK government-funded connected autonomous mobility (CAM) testbed in the region for new service development.

As part of the agreement, VfUK will partner with Wireless Infrastructure Group to deploy 5G “macro coverage” along 300 miles of roads being used by Midlands Future Mobility for “real-world” CAM trials.

Midlands Future Mobility is a £25m (€28m) programme of investment being led by the University of Warwick’s WMG manufacturing hub. Partners include Amey, AVL, Costain Group, Coventry University, Highways England, HORIBA MIRA, Wireless Infrastructure Group, and now VfUK and Immense Simulations. It is one of numerous 5G initiatives based in the West Midlands, which has emerged as one of the UK’s main 5G R&D hubs after winning government funding in 2018, as part of the country’s 5GTestbed and Trials Programme.

CAM a key use-case

The move builds on an agreement reached in June 2020, when VfUK teamed with regional testbed operator West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and Transport for West Midlands to develop new 5G-based traffic control and transport solutions (Vodafonewatch, #188).

VfUK has also recently partnered driverless technology specialist HORIBA MIRA to deploy 5G to its Midlands campus. HORIBA MIRA, which is also a Midlands Future Mobility partner, will leverage a mobile private network provided by VfUK to underpin vehicle-to-everything testing.

Fleet management specialist Immense Simulations also joined the Midlands Future Mobility consortium, bringing large-scale simulation capability for transportation systems. Immense is a spin-off from the Transport Systems Catapult, a Milton Keynes-based centre supported by UK innovation agency Innovate UK. It has flagged a partnership on the Telefónica UK-led 5G-enabled road and trail transport trial CapacityManager. CapacityManager aims to develop real-time traffic management systems underpinned by a 5G network (Telefónicawatch, #147).