Before 5G mobile data service debuts in the UK, residents in up to 5 million homes will already reap the benefits of high-speed Internet at a lower cost. Aberdeen, the third-most populated city in Scotland and the country’s “technological heart,” will be the second spot in the UK to make the transition to “full fibre” broadband Internet, switching out copper cables connected to roadside cabinets for fibre-optic ones running right to the buildings themselves. While this switch is a costly one to initiate, it will help save the consumer, in the long run, making cities such as Aberdeen more digitally connected so not only businesses and smart city initiatives benefit, so do citizens living in more rural areas.
Internet of the future
The current project underway in Aberdeen is part of the Scottish government’s plan to make the country one of the best connected in the world and “contribute to our goal of an economically and digitally future-proofed Scotland,” according to Fergus Ewing, cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity. So, what does this mean for Aberdeen’s “new gigabit society”? For one, businesses and citizens can expect Internet speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, creating a stronger and faster connection that will give the city’s growing tech sector a major boost. Each year, the demand in traffic and amount of mobile data processed by mobile networks grows by 50 percent, requiring more fibre to relay signals back to the network. Not only will faster Internet provide a solution to the rapidly growing traffic on mobile networks, it will help strengthen the city’s smart initiatives while encouraging businesses and entrepreneurs to set up shop in Aberdeen. In addition, this type of upgrade will strengthen the city’s digital infrastructure and connect even the most rural residents, who were previously harder to reach with copper cables.
With the debut of the new network, the city is looking to wireless infrastructure as a way to introduce solutions like the UK’s first fibre-connected small cell network, placing small cells on lampposts and traffic lights across the city centre. This will allow for quicker and higher-capacity mobile services, as well as prep the city for the deployment of future technology—from 5G to street lighting and intelligent transport programs—placing Aberdeen in the global spotlight when it comes to future-thinking mobile connectivity.