Construction News

Thu January 21 2021

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BAM to trial innovative uses of 5G

13 Jan BAM Nuttall is set to participate in a £28.3m trial of innovative uses of 5G.

It is working on one of nine projects to receive funding as part of a joint investment between government and businesses to test how the country can seize the full benefits of 5G and help British industries capitalise on the power of technology.

Minister for digital infrastructure Matt Warman said: “The government has put £200 million behind some of the UK’s most enterprising innovators to explore how 5G can accelerate growth in key industries. I look forward to seeing how this new era of mobile technology can empower construction firms to work smarter, shorten delivery times and cut costs.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has provided £15.2m to be shared across the nine projects with the remaining £13.1m coming from project partners.

BAM Nuttall will explore how 5G can support the construction industry: testing 5G-powered cameras, drones and sensors at construction sites in Kilsyth, Glasgow and Shetland.

The project - called 5G AMC 2 (Accelerate, Maximise and Create for Construction) - seeks to explore how 5G can enable the use of data to maximise productivity of construction processes. The project will set up a private 5G network at BAM Nuttall’s regional office in Kilsyth and a project in Shetland, using cameras, drones, mixed reality and IoT sensors to monitor construction process and track assets.

The £1,692,733 project will be delivered by a consortium led by BAM Nuttall partnered with AttoCore and Building Research Establishment with £846,365 of the funding coming from government.

UK government minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “The UK government is funding 5G innovation trials to help Scottish industry harness the opportunities and possibilities 5G offers.

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“5G is an exciting technology, with higher connection speeds and capacity having potential to enable the use of innovate technology, transforming industry.

“I’m delighted this significant UK Government investment is funding such an important project in Scotland.”

The project is intended to act as an enabler for digital solutions that improve construction productivity within BAM Nuttall and the wider UK construction industry. In addition, it will help grow UK technical capability in the field of 5G.

Colin Evison, head of innovation at BAM Nuttall said: “We are really excited to join the 5G Create programme and have the opportunity to further develop our digital capability that will help us in our mission to build sustainable environments that enhance people’s lives. We believe the project outcomes will benefit our business and the wider construction industry in its drive to improve productivity.”

Other government-funded test projects include improving fan experiences at O2 arena and MK Dons stadium, trialling 5G-powered cargo ports and boosting tourism sites such as the Eden Project One scheme will see David Attenborough use 5G to show people the wonders of the natural world through modern technology  

Five of the projects, including BAM Nuttall’s, will also test out the technical possibilities of Open RAN - an alternative way of building telecoms networks that allows for greater interoperability of radio equipment between vendors and will give operators more choice and flexibility as they roll out 5G infrastructure.

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