UK and South Korea go underground for innovative new 5G partnership

5G on trains

Digital Minister Margot James has announced the winners of a £2.4 million project with South Korea to explore new 5G experiences for tourists and commuters on public transport.

5G RailNext has been chosen to test how 5G can provide uninterrupted ‘infotainment’ services across the Seoul Metro system. The project will deliver Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) content – including travel information, video streaming and gaming – through wearable devices such as headsets.

A follow-up demonstrator in the UK will take place on the Glasgow Metro, with the 5G RailNext consortium outlining plans to explore future use on the London Underground and New York Metro.

5G RailNext is a private and public sector consortium led by Cisco and consisting of British SMEs Soluis and Ampletime as well as the University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Council.

Digital Minister Margot James said:

5G is the future of connectivity and we want the UK to be a world leader. This collaboration with South Korea will explore innovative ways to use the technology to deliver content and services on transport networks in Seoul and Glasgow.

I’m delighted that this will create new partnership and business opportunities for UK SMEs, academia and local government.

The UK and South Korean Governments will give up to £1.2 million grant funding each to support the scheme, which aims to demonstrate how new interactive experiences, including travel services, entertainment and advertising can be delivered through 5G.

The competition was launched in April 2019 as a drive for South Korean investment in the UK and to create new opportunities for UK businesses in South Korea.

It is part of the Government’s £200 million 5G Testbeds & Trials Programme, which aims to maximise the opportunities for UK businesses, especially SMEs, to develop new 5G applications and services for both domestic and global markets.

Through its modern Industrial Strategy the Government is making sure that the UK has the right infrastructure in place to be a world leader in new 5G technology.

The project demonstrates a continued collaborative relationship between UK and South Korean industry, one which the Government hopes to develop following EU exit.

The project will run from August 2019 to March 2021.

Tony Gribben, Country Manager, Cisco Scotland, said:

We’re delighted to be working with DCMS and such innovative partners on this project. More so than any other wave of connectivity, 5G presents an opportunity to ensure every industry can benefit from connectivity and the added value it provides to society. With Glasgow Metro one of the oldest in the world, what more challenging and relatable environment to trial than a moving metro train, equipped with the latest in augmented reality technology.

Jon Kingsbury, Head of Digital Economy & Creative Industries at the Knowledge Transfer Network, one of the founding partners of UK5G, said:

The 5G RailNext project is an exciting and innovative collaboration between the UK and Korea – deploying world-class British advertising and digital expertise to develop new and useful services for commuters. We especially look forward to the project bringing back insights from its trial on the Seoul Metro to benefit passengers in the UK.



The competition ran from 27 April 2019 – 1 June 2019, and was administered by UK5G (through the Knowledge Transfer Network), using an agreed assessment process, based on the Innovate model. UK5G used their knowledge and experience to work with the lead South Korean delivery organisation to agree the scope of the project.

For more information on the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme please see the recently published Programme Update. This provides a brief update on the progress made by the 5GTT Programme in delivering projects that drive towards its targets and objectives and provides a forward look of what activities the 5GTT Programme is planning over the next 12 months to continue to make good progress on those objectives.

About the 5G Testbed and Trials Programme

The 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme (5GTT Programme) is the Government’s nationally coordinated programme of investment in 5G testbed facilities and application trials. The Government has allocated £200 million from the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to it. The Programme has made investments in projects covering a range of industry sectors and use cases such as healthcare, tourism and manufacturing. The 5GTT launched in late 2017 and will run until the end of March 2022.

The 5GTT looks to harness areas where the UK has a competitive advantage – such as in scientific research, engineering talent and our rich variety of technology businesses.

The Programme is working to deliver the following objectives:

  • Accelerate the deployment of 5G networks and ensure the UK can take early advantage of the applications those networks can enable.
  • Maximise the productivity and efficiency benefits to the UK from 5G.
  • Create new opportunities for UK businesses at home and abroad, and encourage inward investment.

The 5G Programme’s vision is to foster, build and lead.

  • Foster – the development of the UK’s 5G ecosystem and help boost the UK’s digital infrastructure.
  • Build – the business case for 5G and the ideal conditions needed to deploy it efficiently.
  • Lead – the way in 5G R&D to drive UK 5G leadership

While funded by DCMS, UK5G is an independent and impartial national innovation network dedicated to the promotion of research, collaboration and the commercial application of 5G in the UK.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization/author(s)and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.