The City of Melbourne has set up a new testbed in its innovation district at City North in Carlton to trial technologies such as 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). It is working with Australia’s largest telecommunication providers and business and industry leaders.
Melbourne is preparing for 5G licences to commence in March 2020. Testbed partners will be given the chance to explore optimal placement and design of 5G and IoT infrastructure, establish protocols for data-sharing, management, privacy and security, and help establish effective partnerships and governance models for emerging technology testbeds.
Test and learn
This testbed will allow Melbourne and relevant parties to ‘test and learn’ in a managed environment and contained area, and help inform “an ideal and preferred future” in which 5G and the IoT can create mutual benefit for the city.
The city anticipates using 5G networks in a number of areas, including telehealth to deliver remote health services, and intelligent transport to reduce congestion and increase safety.
"5G will bring increased data speeds, better coverage, better connections and the ability for more devices to use the network at once," said deputy lord mayor, Arron Wood.
"It’s an opportunity to bring together the best minds to plan for the future, understand the challenges our cities face while delivering for our rapidly growing population"
He added: "Through this testbed we want to work closely with telecommunication providers and technology companies to explore the capabilities of 5G and how it enables emerging technologies. It’s an opportunity to bring together the best minds to plan for the future, understand the challenges our cities face while delivering for our rapidly growing population.
"This is an amazing opportunity for us to have hands on experience with the future of high-speed connectivity."
Melbourne Innovation District (MID), which includes the includes University of Melbourne and RMIT University buildings, has been chosen as the location because of a number of factors: it includes a mixture of residential and commercial planning zones and open space; it encompasses mostly local roads owned and operated by City of Melbourne; and covers areas of significant pedestrian activity.