Member Sign In

Sussex’s Role in the UK’s 5G Revolution: Transforming the Digital Landscape

As our world becomes more interconnected and technology-driven, the digital sector continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace. At the heart of this evolution is the fifth generation of mobile networks, more commonly known as 5G. This new generation promises to revolutionise our digital infrastructure, offering faster speeds, lower latency, and the potential to connect many more devices simultaneously.

And where does Sussex fit in all of this, you may ask. Well, at the epicentre, of course.

Spearheading Innovation: The 5G Testbed at The FuseBox

The FuseBox, Wired Sussex’s Brighton-based innovation hub, is the pivotal site for a significant part of the UK's 5G strategy. This project was established with a substantial investment of £1.2 million provided by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The funding was won from the government's Local Growth Fund, bolstering our local digital sector and paving the way for future developments.

Managed in partnership with the Digital Catapult, the 5G testbed at The FuseBox is not just a playground for technological experimentation. It’s a platform that encourages local small businesses and start-ups to explore the benefits and possibilities of 5G. By providing an environment to test and develop new applications of 5G, we empower these businesses to grow faster, while fostering a culture of innovation in our digital community.

Because of this, Brighton is positioned as a living ‘Internet of Place’ developer community. It’s an embodiment of our belief in challenging convention, driving successful innovation and creating a blend of social and economic value. With the testbed, we're not only exploring the future of digital connectivity but also ensuring that our local businesses are at the forefront of this exciting journey.

Celebrating Success: The 5G Festival

One significant milestone for the FuseBox and Sussex as a whole on this journey was the organisation of the UK's first 5G Festival. This unique event brought together leading organisations from the arts, entertainment, and technology industries. It was a showcase of creative talent, both technical and artistic, and demonstrated the transformative power of 5G in bringing live experiences to audiences, irrespective of their location.

Using 5G's low latency and ultra-high bandwidth, the 5G Festival transformed the ability for artists to perform live and collaborate from different locations. It was a beautiful amalgamation of art and technology, redefining the conventional live music experience.

The 5G Festival was part of the larger £200 million 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT) funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). We were honoured to share this platform with partners like Audiotonix, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, LiveFrom, Mativision, Metropolis Studios, Sonosphere, Virgin Media O2, and the Warner Music Group.

As a testament to our efforts and the innovative use of 5G technology, the 5G Festival bagged the “Most Innovative Use of 5G Technology” Award at the 5G Week Awards 2021 and the UK5G Showcase Awards 2022.

Looking Forward

As we continue on this exciting journey, we remain committed to our vision of making Sussex recognised as Europe's most innovative and exciting creative digital hub. The 5G revolution is just the beginning. With our collaborative spirit, we aim to keep catalysing innovation, celebrating achievements, and empowering our community to lead in the digital space.

In the end, it's not just about the technology but also the people and the businesses that use it. As we always say here at Wired Sussex, we are 'Wired Together'. And together, we are indeed stronger

About the author

Chris Chowen

Hi, I'm Chris, Wired Sussex's Innovation and Technology Manager. I help to facilitate the Brighton Immersive Lab, offer support to the FuseBox residents and lead our programme of Brighton Immersive events.

View more posts by Chris