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With 5,000 attendees registered, Connected Britain 2023 looked set to be its biggest event to date. The first day didn’t disappoint with Phil Siveter, Nokia’s CEO for the UK and Ireland, taking to the stage to deliver a key note on the importance of collaboration in driving innovation.

Whilst most acknowledge the huge strides the UK has made over the last five years in improving connectivity across the UK (in the latest 2023 European rankings, for example, the UK hit 53.6% growth in the take up and annual growth of gigabit-capable full fibre), most also admit that more needs to be done. Bringing more partners into 5G and fibre deployments, including the government, will accelerate broadband deployments and significantly reduce costs for consumers.

However, what has been the most interesting for me is hearing the use cases of how 5G can be used to address some of our biggest challenges. Looking at healthcare for example, Nokia has worked with VM02 to connect the UK’s first 5G-connected hospital with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Using private 5G networks, the trials are investigating the efficiency, safety and security benefits of using smart, 5G-connected technologies in NHS hospitals – including IoT (Internet of Things), AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Just imagine the strides this could make to healthcare worldwide and it’s easy to see why people are thirsty for progress.

As I reflect on the conversations I have had to today, it is clear to see that we continue to need more collaboration between the technologists and the experts who deal with the mission critical industries that we all rely on.

These trusted partnerships with industry experts are there but are still embryonic yet are evolving fast.  There is just no question of the value such connectivity can bring. We just need to collaborate and move faster.


Elena Davidson

Elena is the CEO of Liberty Communications

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