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Birmingham wins battle to become UKs first city with 5G coverage

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Birmingham will be the first major city to have 5G mobile coverage, it will be announced tomorrow.

Mobile phone users will be able to download all three Lord of the Rings films within two minutes with superfast 5G coverage.

The West Midlands beat off other UK regions to host the Governments 5G Testbed pilot scheme and there will be hubs in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.

Photo Taken In Birmingham, United Kingdom

Birmingham will be the UKs first major city to get 5G (Picture: EyeEm)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport £50 million scheme will also give Birmingham another advantage over other cities in its bid to be the new home of Channel 4.

Minister for Digital Margot James said: 5G has the potential to dramatically transform the way we go about our daily lives, and we want the citizens of the UK to be amongst the first to experience all the opportunities and benefits this new technology will bring.

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

Margot James speaking on 5 Live (Picture: BBC Radio 5 Live)

Digital Minister Margot James believes 5G will change lives (Picture: BBC Radio 5 Live)

The West Midlands Combined Authorities bid initially focuses on the health, construction and automotive sectors, with its overarching ambition to help drive economic growth and benefit peoples lives through participation in new digital technologies and digitally transformed public services.

The new technology will also boost the West Midlands bid to be at the forefront of driverless car technology in the world. Ambulances will also be able to hooked up to NHS servers allowing paramedics to get specialist advice at the scene.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: This announcement is game-changing for the West Midlands economy. This will be the backbone of our future economy and society.

Newly elected Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street waits to speak to TV crews following his victory, at the Barclaycard Arena in central Birmingham on May 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff CADDICK (Photo credit should read GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street called 5G a game changer (Picture: EFP)

We have been working to put the foundations in place to grow the industries which will create the jobs of the future, particularly around driverless vehicles and life sciences where we have a genuine advantage. To deliver the future of these industries we need the power of 5g. “The potential of this technology is endless – and we will enjoy the benefits first.

He added: From monitoring the health of babies and the elderly, to the way out 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 City of Culture and the Commonwealth Games – everything can be made better thanks to the power of this technology.

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The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will now work with the 5G Testbeds and Trials Team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and industry partners on preparing the formal business case for approval, with the first of a series of projects expected to go live early next year.

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