Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen is launching an initiative to introduce 5G mobile technology to the region after it was announced as the location for a world-first centre for international digital trade.
The Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation will be coordinated by the International Chamber of Commerce UK and supported by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, industry and government. Working closely with the Teesside Freeport it will provide a focal point to bring together initiatives and expertise and enable industry to develop the latest technologies and approaches to frictionless trade and remove barriers to growth.
Dense Air Limited, which builds and operates shared wireless infrastructure as a service, has partnered with the Mayor and Combined Authority to support this initiative through the deployment of a state-of-the-art 5G network, initially focused on areas benefiting from Teesside Freeport status. Following a successful initial project in these areas, the parties would expect to roll out shared 5G infrastructure across the wider region.
The initiative will help industry and companies in the area take advantage of emerging business opportunities that increased digitalisation brings – driving our ambition to become a Smart region.
A Smart region is one which allows increased connectivity between objects, energy, data and people – for example smart buildings to save and optimise energy. Smart industry will optimise process, manufacturing and construction to increase production and optimise supply chains, and smart transport systems will help more people to move around more quickly.
Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to partner with an innovative company like Dense Air to roll-out cutting-edge 5G technology. We intend to build this partnership across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. This would see everyone benefit, not just our towns and communities, but rural areas not as well served by traditional broadband technology, so no one is left behind as we move forward.
“Fast, reliable and affordable digital connectivity is as vital to many people’s livelihoods as electricity itself. It’s central to our businesses of all sizes, our industry and our personal and everyday lives as we keep connected with the people we love, shop online and do things like internet bank.
“It will also be a critical enabler in the future as we lead the way in innovation in international digital trade, removing barriers that companies here, and right across the UK, are currently facing to make it smoother and easier than ever to do business.
“It will help position the projects and opportunities that will revitalise our area, such as the Teesside Freeport and Teesworks, at the forefront of creating the cleaner, safer and healthier sectors of tomorrow. Strong connections will prove an asset for all those businesses looking to locate here and create good-quality, well-paid jobs.”