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The government has announced a multi-million-pound trial of 5G technology on a city-wide scale.

Ministers want to gather real-world evidence to measure how wireless 5G infrastructure can enhance the lives of people living in urban areas.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has therefore invited local or combined authorities with a coverage area in the region of 500,000 people to register an interest in being its public sector partner and lead the delivery of the project.

Margot James, the Digital Minister, commented: "This is a huge opportunity for an urban area to become the flagship of our ambitious programme to make Britain fit for the future and a world leader in 5G.

"Trialling 5G at scale across an entire city is a chance to prove the economic benefits predicted from this new technology, test different methods of deployment and boost the connectivity of ordinary people working and living there."

Among the areas that the government wants to look at in the trial is how 5G technology aids healthcare professionals, as it could be used to provide real-time video consultation and remote treatment for those who are less able to travel.

In addition, ministers believe 5G could help to improve traffic management in cities, with jams and disjointed journeys being consigned to the past through the widespread use of sensors and real-time monitoring of both traffic and public transport.

Other possible applications of the technology could be seen in popular tourist venues, with 5G "revolutionising" the visitor experience through the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies.

Following the bidding process, a location for the 5G trial will be announced in the summer.

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