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The West Midlands is to become the first multi-city 5G testbed in the UK.

Trials of the technology will take place in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, which could pave the way to a future rollout on a much larger scale.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, believes this is a "game-changing" announcement for the region, as 5G will be the "backbone of our future economy and society".

"The potential of this technology is endless," he commented.

"From monitoring the health of babies and the elderly, to the way our people are linked to the economy of the future, the way companies do business, the way we deliver public services, the experience of travellers on public transport and the way we deliver [the Coventry 2021] City of Culture and the [Birmingham 2022] Commonwealth Games - everything can be made better thanks to the power of this technology."

Mr Street went on to state that local authorities have sought to lay strong foundations that enable industries to grow and create "the jobs of the future".

However, he argued that the "power of 5G" is required if a prosperous future is to be delivered.

Digital minister Margot James added that 5G has the potential to "dramatically transform the way we go about our daily lives".

"We want the citizens of the UK to be amongst the first to experience all the opportunities and benefits this new technology will bring," she said.

"The West Midlands Testbed, which is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, will be instrumental in helping us realise this ambition."

Some £25 million is being contributed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, while this funding is being matched by regional partners.

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