5G Wales unlocked – the innovation project demonstrating the opportunities of 5G in rural and valley communities in Wales – has launched a live 5G service which includes coverage from Cadw Raglan Castle in Monmouthshire.
One of the first live 5G trials in rural Wales, the 5G network, supplied by BT, will power a series of exciting projects in Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent – showing the potential of 5G to transform businesses and rural services in tourism, education, transport and agriculture.
At Raglan Castle, the 5G network brings Welsh history to life with augmented reality (AR) experiences – created by 5G partner Wales Unlocked, Jam Creative Studios. Visitors can now pick up a device at the Visitor Center to immerse themselves in the castle’s history.
During their exploration, visitors can: see the castle as it would have looked before it was destroyed in the English Civil War; take on the role of the Parliamentarians – firing cannons at the castle defenses during the Siege of Raglan; take part in a virtual game of boules with King Charles I on the bowling green – recreating a historic event that took place in 1645 and see the magnificent fountain court recreated all around them.
Deputy Arts and Sport Minister Dawn Bowden MS said:
“Supporting tourism and the arts in Wales is a key commitment of our government program and integral to creating our even better cities, towns and villages in which to live and work.
“This exciting project demonstrates the potential of new technologies to make Wales a better connected nation and create inclusive opportunities for people to enjoy and preserve our rich history.”
David Penberthy, Head of Interpretation at Cadw, said:
“Raglan Castle is a much-loved site with tremendous historical significance and we are delighted to be working with 5G Wales Unlocked to find new ways for visitors to engage with its fascinating history.
“We expect the games to be hugely popular and invite new and old visitors of all ages to come and experience them for themselves.”
Libby Warwick, Senior Producer at Jam Creative Studios, said:
“We are very excited to launch these new AR games with the benefits of a 5G network. 5G connectivity allows us to create even more exciting and immersive experiences at rural heritage sites – and to create greater and more detailed, precisely placed in the environment for visitors to explore and interact with.
Nick Speed, Group Director BT Wales, said:
“5G is a critical step in preparing for strong growth in demand for bandwidth-intensive applications such as 4K high-definition content streaming, augmented and virtual reality, and high-quality video conferencing.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate the potential of 5G in rural areas. Tourism is an important sector for Wales, so it is also a real opportunity to explore how this latest technology could be used to innovate and improve the offer to visitors. Smart, connected technology like this has the potential to help rural economies grow and encourage young people to stay in these areas.
Cllr Sara Jones, Deputy Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, said:
“For rural counties like Monmouthshire, increased connectivity will help local communities and businesses. From a rural business perspective, I spoke to local farmers who described to me how 5G could potentially transform their business.
“The innovative solution that has been installed at Raglan Castle is great: residents and visitors will be inspired by this technology that brings this magnificent historic place to life. For education, the opportunities to inspire learners’ imaginations are fantastic. Projects like this, which explore the benefits for rural communities, have the potential to be rolled out across Wales. I am proud of Monmouthshire’s role in this.
As a listed ancient monument, Raglan Castle faces potential security and preservation challenges – and 5G Wales unlocked partner, UtterBerrydeveloped and installed a network of smart sensors throughout the site to help solve them.
The sensors detect and monitor changes in factors such as ground movements, the structural integrity of the castle towers, temperature, humidity, wind speed and waste reservoir levels – data that will help Cadw develop a detailed understanding of the risks to prevent and minimize them and preserve the site for future generations.
Heba Bevan OBE, CEO of UtterBerry, said:
“As a site exposed to the elements, Raglan Castle is subject to environmental degradation, including land movement over time, wind, rain, snow and wildlife.
“We are therefore working closely with the Welsh Government and the DCMS to provide Cadw with vast and rich data which enables a much better understanding of the site and enables proactive preservation measures to be taken – all of this is possible now that the castle of Raglan has full connectivity. to 5G.
For more information on visiting Raglan Castle, please visit the Cadw website or call 03000 252239 for more information.
5G Wales unlocked was made possible with funding from the Tech Valleys program of the Welsh Government and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.