There is poor mobile connectivity across large parts of North Yorkshire and this can impact on rural communities in several ways. This includes: the ability to access online services causing high levels of loneliness and isolation; community safety; Emergency Services having poor access to mobile networks; and tourism destinations and events not being able to offer connectivity that visitors expect.
The MANY project will aim to connect people by offering direct solutions to these problems via the use of mobile connectivity.
Find out more about our four project areas below.
Flooding is a key concern within North Yorkshire. In July 2019 some parts of the County had over 100mm of rainfall within less than 12 hours, affecting roads and bridges leaving local communities isolated.
The MANY project aims to use IoT (Internet of Things) technology to remotely monitor and prevent this in the future.
Find out more below or download our Environmental Monitoring Fact Sheet
The socio-economic cost of the change in our climate is vast. The increased risk of flooding in areas of rural North Yorkshire makes it a priority to develop new ways to advance monitoring and offer early warnings to the communities which are directly affected so that they can plan properly.
Through a network of sensors (Internet of things), mobile access can offer the Environment Agency an early flood warnings. Potentially this means residents can receive quicker warnings preventing further damage to both economy and life.
Not only can the change in environment impact on an individual’s life, it impacts on vital transport links and has further economic effects. For example, when a bridge collapses, it is not only expensive to repair but diversions during ‘down-time’ can mean traffic has to go the long way round. This means local businesses may miss out on visitors just dropping in and lose revenue.
A mobile access network enables real time or near real time streaming of vital data. New sensor technology using a 5G network would offer the opportunity to pick up minor changes in vibrations in a bridge’s integrity enabling repairs to take place before a collapse.
Wellbeing and Mental Health
Living in rural communities may mean residents or health and social teams have to make long journeys to meet up face-to-face. Furthermore, health and welfare workers often have issues getting signal to contact patients and their offices. And of course, it can mean some people feel isolated and cut off from friends and family.
The MANY project aims to highlight how mobile networks can connect people improving the quality of life and access to public services.
Find out more below or download our Health and Wellbeing Fact Sheet.
Provide access to video consultation
With higher population numbers, time spent with patients is becoming more challenging. Equally, in rural communities, patients often have to travel long distances for a short appointment. Telephone and online consultations offer a time and resource effective solution to these problems
Mobile access and 5G technology will offer a high speed wireless broadband connection enabling remote technologies such as video consultations to be fully utilised meaning health providers can connect with their patients within their own home.
Provide access to Health and Social Care services digitally
Having mobile coverage is something that we all take for granted and it is essential for Health and Social Care professionals who work alone and travel to visit clients. In rural areas, staff sometimes have no signal meaning they are unable to contact their employer and/or their clients.
Improving mobile coverage within rural communities offers these teams the ability to connect to work support systems as well as keep in contact when not in the office. Furthermore, technical solutions mean that teams could offer patient monitoring from the home reducing the amount of professional visits enabling greater independence and reducing staff costs.
Provide solutions to combat loneliness and isolation
Loneliness and isolation are accepted as a key factor in mental health issues, so whether someone is isolated due to their work or just where they live, being able to connect with friends, family or community services is something which most people expect. In areas of rural North Yorkshire this isn’t always possible due to the lack of mobile connectivity.
Developing a mobile network provides a range of applications to alleviate feelings of loneliness, as well as simply providing coverage for people to connect with each other.
Growing tourism, protecting local jobs and rural living
In 2019, the tourism industry in Yorkshire generated over £9 billion and employed almost 225,000 people, which is crucial to the general economy of the county.
The tourism project will explore how the use of an advanced mobile access network can support and drive the growth of the tourist economy.
Find out more below or download our Tourism Fact Sheet.
Develop and test innovative digital experiences
Working in partnership with visitor attractions in North Yorkshire we will develop and test innovative digital visitor experiences which exploit enhanced communications.
We will look at how enhanced digital communications can:
- Increase visitor numbers
- Enhance visitor experiences
- Increase visitor revenues
- Provide actionable data to shape the strategic direction and marketing of attractions
COVID-19 has forced visitor attractions to temporarily close with millions of potential visitors advised to stay safe at home. The biggest challenge for Visitor Attractions at this time is how to attract and keep potential visitors engaged while they are at home so they will visit in the future.
We will use the MANY project to help our partners develop new and innovative approaches to visitor engagement and retention.
Providing temporary 5G access at events
Festival goers expect mobile coverage, using it for keeping in touch with friends and family but also, so they can upload photos and videos to their social media accounts.
Organisers, entertainers and other commercial businesses involved in the events require high bandwidth coverage so they are able to live stream, thereby attracting more publicity and engaging future attendees. They can carry out transactions more easily and keep attendees safe – in order to achieve this, all these functions need to have a reliable wireless connection.
A High Altitude Platform, such as the Helikite, a platform carried by a helium filled balloon, can be used to deliver temporary wireless 5G network to serve a large number of users. Offering this technology has the opportunity to assist in developing the events while also having a wider impact on the local economy.
Mobile access improves the wellbeing of individuals as well as connecting people and services and includes the mission critical emergency services who need reliable, resilient and secure coverage.
The MANY project will focus on two emergency service use cases.
Find out more below or download our Emergency Services Fact Sheet.
Provision of improved mobile coverage and 5G applications for Mountain Rescue
Mountain Rescue (who are called out via the police), need reliable radio coverage in terrain where coverage can be patchy and in poor weather conditions. When on fell rescue missions, it is essential that the radio coverage supports the teams’ ability to connect with each other, their base, and other rescue teams. In remote locations, this isn’t always possible. Poor communications can inhibit rescue missions, cause delays and be life threatening for the casualty.
Additional geographic information systems, including medical telemetry, can enhance the teams’ ability to reach casualties safely, and provide clinical information to remote medical professionals. Improved interoperability will enable the team to connect with other applications and services, which can be time critical in order to save lives.
Demonstrate 5G network applications for Emergency Services Use
The emergency services (Police, Fire and Ambulance) will be receiving a new radio system (the ESN) to replace their existing Airwave radios. The proposed new radio will be based on 4G mobile, but coverage in some rural areas may be harder to achieve and roll out might be slower.
Having provided additional secure and resilient coverage for mountain rescue we will use the same network to demonstrate interoperability and 5G applications for other emergency services.