Everything you need to know about West Midlands' Telecoms Landscape

Building on the UK’s regional and national strengths

Building on the UK’s regional and national strengths, UKTIN’s Clusters Group exists to provide an open forum for inter-regional collaboration, sharing of best practices, insights and dissemination of learnings. Its overarching aim is to advance the adoption of advanced connectivity and has been designed to ensure all regions and nations of the UK can benefit equally. 

The group focuses on showcasing and highlighting the capabilities and approaches of individual regions and so in a recent conversation, Chris Hudson, Connectivity Director, WM5G, shared more details about the work being done.

What does the West Midlands’ telecoms landscape look like?

The West Midlands stands out as a hub of connectivity and innovation, with the region boasting the best 5G coverage outside of London. 

However, there remains a number of challenges to be tackled, particularly in fibre infrastructure deployment, where monopolies hinder competition and result in pricing issues for consumers.The impact of this is a continued digital divide that affects a number of households and businesses.

Despite these hurdles, Chris remains optimistic about the region's potential for growth and innovation,“We’re all about barrier busting and getting things to 100%, that’s our mentality”.

How does WM5G fit into this?

WM5G plays a crucial role in shaping the future of telecoms in the West Midlands. "WM5G acts as a catalyst for progress, bringing together industry, public sector, and private sector partners," explains Chris. 

By leveraging various funding sources, including commercial partnerships and government support, WM5G drives initiatives to improve connectivity and stimulate innovation across the region. 

How does it operate?

Through partnerships with local authorities and industry stakeholders, WM5G tackles challenges such as improving healthcare services and enhancing public sector efficiency.

One notable initiative led by WM5G is the collaboration with local healthcare institutions to leverage 5G for improved patient care and operational efficiency. By deploying advanced connectivity solutions, WM5G aims to enhance medical services, streamline processes, and ultimately, improve healthcare outcomes across West Midlands. 

In addition to 5G deployment, WM5G is actively involved in efforts to modernise digital infrastructure, including fibre optic networks. Recognising the importance of robust fibre infrastructure for seamless connectivity, WM5G is collaborating with local authorities and telecom operators to accelerate fibre deployment across West Midlands. By addressing bottlenecks, streamlining processes, and fostering healthy competition, WM5G aims to enhance connectivity, drive economic growth, and pave the way for future technological advancements.

On the commercial side, there’s consultancy work for local authorities and mobile operators, with Chris stating, “Our role really is kind of like the glue you see between industry, public sector,  and private sector, where we’re trying to connect everybody in this mentality of getting stuff done”.

How does your work contribute to the UK’s broader aims around connectivity and telecoms?

Chris underscores the importance of WM5G's work in contributing to the UK's broader goals around connectivity, "Our initiatives aim to position the West Midlands as a leader in 5G deployment and digital infrastructure development”.

Through strategic partnerships, collaborative endeavours, and targeted interventions, WM5G plays a pivotal role in advancing the UK's connectivity agenda, ensuring the nation remains competitive globally and at the forefront of technological innovation.

Share article