O2 to power autonomous vehicle testing with UK 5G network

Telecommunications provider O2 has announced that its 5G network will be used to support the testing and development of connected and autonomous vehicle technology at the UK’s Millbrook Proving Ground.

The company will enable 5G connectivity to Millbrook testing facilities from June, using its 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum ahead of the first phase of its 5G rollout in several UK cities later this year.

The Millbrook on-site network consists of 59 sites and 89 small cells and is operated by British wireless company Dense Air. O2 has signed a 12-month agreement with the AutoAir 5G project to integrate the sites and small cells into its public infrastructure.

“5G will play a key role in how our country develops over the next few years,” said Brendan O’Reilly, O2’s Chief Technology Officer. “If implemented properly, 5G has the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs and enable a new host of technologies – including self-driving vehicles.”

The AutoAir 5G project involves a consortium of partners seeking to accelerate the adoption of connected and self-driving technology in the UK. Its members, including Dense Air, Airspan Networks, Millbrook, and the R&D arm of motorsport racing team McLaren, were joined this week by engineering firm Atkins, which will lend its design and engineering expertise to the project.

“This project will transform the way we design, maintain and operate on our future networks,” said Lizi Stewart, Managing Director, Transportation UK, Atkins. “Developing the first 5G neutral network in the UK will allow us to continue our drive for innovation and industry-changing initiatives for the transportation sector.”

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