About the Mobile Access North Yorkshire Project
Which organisations are involved in the MANY project?
Quickline Communications (Lead); North Yorkshire County Council; University of York; Lancaster University; Cybermoor; Flo Culture; Wireless Coverage Limited; SafeNetics; and AQL
To find out more visit our partner page.
How long with the MANY project last?
The MANY project is funded for a two-year period, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
There may be opportunities for the consortium and individual members of the consortium to apply for further funding for their research, products and projects beyond the lifespan of the initial programme.
Why is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport funding testbeds?
The testbed and trials programme is designed to help fund projects across the UK that can help to identify any issues and challenges in using 5G across a number of sectors and, also, a number of different regions.
It is hoped that this will bring the benefits of a 5G network to the forefront and ensure that we are better prepared as a country to run one.
For further information on the DCMS 5G testbed and trials projects visit the DCMS website
What are the benefits for the community to be involved in the MANY project?
35% of North Yorkshire has no mobile coverage. We want to build a scalable model which can fill these gaps, we believe it will have a positive impact on people’s lives.
We believe that rural communities should have the same opportunities as their urban neighbours. We know that a lack of connectivity has made some people move away or not move in the first place. We also know that this has a social and economic cost.
On a day to day basis we believe the benefits of mobile connectivity include:
• The ability to connect with friends, families as well as services such as the NHS and Health and Social Care to help combat isolation and loneliness
• The ability to connect with current and potential customers to engage with them; as well as offer a more enhanced customer experience
• The chance to gain real time and near to real time vital data in environmental monitoring to help track flooding risk and bridge infrastructure
• To support the Emergency Service networks such as Mountain Rescue to assist in rescue attempts
However, this project isn’t just about what we think – the key to its success is our partnership with communities. Getting involved means we will be able to make community benefit decisions.
Why do you want to work closely with communities?
The Mobile Access North Yorkshire project will only succeed if we have support, engagement, and involvement from rural communities.
The project is keen to hear stories from the community about how a lack of mobile access impacts them day to day whilst also understanding their future needs.
We want this to be an opportunity for the communities to influence and inform the project – only then can the project move forward, enable mobile solutions, support the future of rural areas and influence government policy.
To tell use your story contact us via our contact form
What does a mobile network look like?
A mast will be required to offer mobile connectivity but we will look for places which require the least amount. This is helped by understanding your needs as it means we will be able to offer the right mast for the needs of the community. Masts will usually be less than 15 metres out of the ground and look similar to telegraph poles.
What happens at the end of the 2 year project?
If after 2 years, the project has proved successful and is financially viable then it will be considered how it will be funded going forward. This is one of the goals of the project.
However, if we have to withdraw from an area it is hoped to of proven to the mobile operators that coverage is viable. Between now and then, NYCC’s Programme Manager for Mobile Phone Coverage will be working with the mobile operators to improve coverage as part of the shared rural network proposals and expect to include these areas.
About the technology
What type of technology are you using?
The project will offer mobile connectivity at no charge for the lifetime of the project. This will include enabling a fast broadband for devices within the home such as PC’s, tablets, phones as well as game consoles and smart speakers.
For people who become more involved in the project, it will also provide:
Phase 1 – a 4G private network in mast coverage area only (accessible with a project provided Sim Card)
Phase 2 – Addition of 5G private network in mast coverage area only (accessible only with a project provided Sim and device): For testing of technology
Phase 3 – A 4G or 5G full roaming network (this is dependent upon a roaming agreement with Mobile Network Operator’s)
The technology and infrastructure being used is already enabled in other parts of North Yorkshire and the UK. The trial element of the project is to find ways of enabling it in rural areas in order to make sure these communities are able to access what their urban neighbours are already using.
What is the difference between 4G and 5G technology?
The easiest way to understand 5G is that it is faster 4G as it can deliver greater speeds. The new technology offers the ability to provide specific parts of the network for different users ie the emergency services could have part of the network, this is called network slicing.
Why are you using 5G technology?
Initially the MANY project will build a 4G network and test the projects hypothesis. As and when 5G becomes available we can deploy the technology and test the benefits and outcomes of this within the communities we work with.
The project will work in phases and depending on what the communities tell us about their issues the solutions including the technology provided may not need to be 5G technology – 4G may be enough. We will only test 5G technology if it is of benefit to the community.
What we hope to leave you with is a high-speed mobile access network which can future proof your needs as new technology becomes available.
Is 5G technology safe?
Mobile networks use wireless radio signals to communicate with devices. Rapid growth in this area has been managed safely through the industry conforming to international health standards which are independently laid down and based upon a huge amount of research carried out over the last 50 years (ICNIRP guidelines).
5G is a next generation of cellular mobile technology that will overlay current 4G and WiFi means of connecting to the broadband Internet as well as being deployed for various industrial uses. The ICNIRP guidelines ensure any news 5G characteristics conform to these guidelines under all circumstances.
5G is currently using the same bandwidth identified for 4G which is in the 1.8GHz – 2.6GHz and 3,4-3.8GHz ranges which is similar or less than home Wifi routers which use 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Public Health England (PHE’s) Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) takes the lead on public health matters within radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, or radio waves, used in telecommunications. Central to PHE advice is that exposures to radio waves should comply with the ICNIRP guidelines.
ICNIRP guidelines includes frequencies used by both existing mobile systems and those intended for 5G. While a small increase the localised exposure to radio waves is possible when 5G is added to the existing network it is the responsibility of the industry to ensure the total remains well within ICNIRP guidelines.
Public Health England and other organisations have concluded there is no convincing evidence that human exposure of radio waves below these guideline levels causes health effects in either adults or children.
This has been further backed by a recent independent study by The Institution of Engineering and Technology.
For further information, please visit the following websites.
Will 5G be secure?
The security of 5G relies upon the careful implementation and management of the 5G mobile access system. The choice of 5G equipment for MANY will follow government guidelines and legislation, and a careful risk assessment will be carried out to assess security from the business and technical viewpoints.
Most importantly we aim towards protecting the security of the information services that will make use of the new 5G access system. Assessments will be made to consider privacy and data protection, especially focusing on the specific use of the system for handling sensitive information. This is especially important when consideration applications such as Emergency Services, Health and Social care applications.
Wouldn't fibre optic offer a better solution than mobile connectivity?
A fibre optic connection would only service homes.
We want to make sure that the many people who work and move around in the areas are serviced by a connection, which is reliable and robust in the environments they work within. This would include but is not exhaustive of: the racing community; vets; farmers; delivery drivers, Emergency Service personnel; visitors and Highways Teams. There are many uses of a 5G network outside of the home. The connectivity the project is using is a mixture of fixed wired, wireless and mobile connectivity therefore providing the most effective solution to bring digital connectivity to the whole of the rural community.
About the process
Is a licence needed to deliver the project?
Any spectrum used within the Mobile Access North Yorkshire trial is licenced by Ofcom and the project is applying to Ofcom for licences. It will use the same spectrum used by 2G, 3G and 4G and is lower than the spectrum used to provide WIFI coverage in people’s homes.
Will the project need to monitor outputs?
As part of the project, we will measure the outputs to ensure they are within the ICNIRP guidelines.
Please visit our resources page to find out more about the guidelines and independent studies that the project will follow.
Does the project need planning permission?
Any infrastructure the project installs will be covered by planning regulations all of which will be met. The project is not looking to install large infrastructure. It will be in the form of telegraph poles and is to be installed sympathetically with the landscape.
Please visit our resources page for more information about the masts being used.