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Sunderland, a city in the North East of England, is set to become one of the UK’s most advanced smart cities, thanks to a £3.8 million grant from the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT). The funding will be used to improve the city’s digital infrastructure and wireless technology, paving the way for enhanced port efficiency, transport connectivity, and agricultural automation.

One of the key areas of focus in Sunderland’s bid was the use of 5G technology to improve the city’s port operations. By leveraging wireless connectivity, the port can enhance efficiency, reduce fuel usage, and minimize environmental impact. The aim is to transition the port to an all-electric operation, ensuring a greener and more sustainable future for maritime trade. Additionally, 5G technology will be utilized to create a connected transport intelligence system, optimizing road transport efficiency within the city and connecting strategically important locations such as Nissan and the Port of Tyne.

The benefits of improved wireless infrastructure extend beyond transportation. In local agriculture, automation and data-driven insights play a key role in increasing productivity. By utilizing sensors, drones, and advanced wireless connectivity, farmers in Sunderland can monitor crop production, soil quality, livestock movements, and environmental factors. This technology-driven approach empowers farmers to make informed decisions, ultimately leading to improved yields and sustainable farming practices.

Furthermore, enhanced digital connectivity enables “360-degree live broadcasting” throughout the city and the wider LA7 region. This opens up new possibilities for immersive experiences, live events, and interactive engagement with citizens. Sunderland’s bid stood out due to its comprehensive and innovative ideas, which focus on harnessing technology to drive economic growth, reduce congestion, and improve the overall quality of life for its residents.

Sunderland City Council’s commitment to digital transformation has already yielded impressive results. The city boasts an 86.4% average gigabit broadband coverage, surpassing the UK average of 70%. By leveraging 5G technology and advanced wireless connectivity, Sunderland aims to position itself as a national hub for technological innovation, bringing about economic prosperity and social well-being.

With the successful implementation of private 5G networks in the region and ongoing projects such as the 5G Connected Autonomous Logistics (5GCAL) at Nissan and the 5G Sunderland Autonomous Mobility Service (SAMS) in the city center, Sunderland has proven its expertise in designing and deploying cutting-edge solutions.

The funding receivedSunderland is part of a nationwide effort to accelerate the rollout of 5G technology and digital innovation. By investing in local areas, the UK government aims to unlock the potential of wireless and digital technologies, revolutionizing public services, driving economic growth, and fostering innovation.


Q: What is the purpose of the £3.8 million grant receivedSunderland?

A: The grant will be used to improve Sunderland’s digital infrastructure and wireless technology, driving the city’s transformation into a smart city.

Q: How will 5G technology enhance the city’s port operations?

A: 5G technology will enhance port efficiency, reduce fuel usage, and promote sustainabilityenabling the port to transition to an all-electric operation.

Q: How will wireless connectivity benefit the agricultural sector?

A: Wireless connectivity will enable the automation of machinery, data-driven monitoring of agricultural processes, and decision-making based on real-time insights, leading to increased productivity and sustainable farming practices.

Q: What are some of the other benefits of improved digital infrastructure in Sunderland?

A: Improved digital infrastructure will enable immersive experiences, live broadcasting, and interactive engagement throughout the city, enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.

Q: How does Sunderland’s digital progress compare to the UK average?

A: Sunderland currently boasts an average gigabit broadband coverage of 86.4%, surpassing the UK average of 70%.

Q: What is the government’s vision for the rollout of 5G technology across the UK?

A: The government aims to channel funding into local areas to drive the adoption of 5G technology, revolutionizing public services, boosting economic growth, and fostering innovation.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Ron Davis

Quelle/Source:, 17.11.2023

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