City of London to host the world’s first 5G connected theatre

The City of London Corporation and King’s College London have today announced an international collaboration between Berlin and the City of London, testing the capabilities of the next generation of mobile technology; 5G.

On Friday 22 June, audiences are invited to see musicians from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama perform at London’s oldest entertainment venue, the 2,000-year-old Roman Amphitheatre in tandem with pianist Professor Mischa Dohler and the Peter Wiegold Ensemble, who will be playing simultaneously from Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate Museum.

The live performance of Ali Hossaini’s Epiphany will be streamed into the Amphitheatre via camera feeds processed in real-time through 5G data transmission. Ali Hossaini redesigned The City Centre and the Amphitheatre to showcase the future of culture, commerce and technology with the support of the Arts Council of England.

In addition to the performance, King’s College London and telecommunications partner Ericsson, will also demonstrate 5G capabilities in the City Centre, an exhibitions and events centre dedicated to the built environment of the Square Mile, through an immersive 5G installation.

Users will be able to navigate around London using the VU.CITY application, a fully accurate 3D interactive digital model of the City which has been enhanced with real-time figures collected from cryptocurrency data, live tweets and intelligent camera systems by Vivacity Labs.

5G will bring new opportunities for people, businesses and society, providing not just higher bandwidth, but also greater capacity, security and more productivity. This is achieved by offering a universal infrastructure platform that will be able to adapt and scale to a huge and diverse set of new and enhanced services. As the network evolves towards 5G, much of the existing mobile infrastructure will be used to allow a seamless transition, making the best use of existing resources to create a more optimised network for both consumers and operators.

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation said:

“It is great to see two world-class cities, both leaders in innovation, find new ways to see their historic sites thrive in the 21st century.

“This is the first live connected 5G concert to cross geographical boundaries in the world, and is a key example of how collaboration, not competition, will cement the UK’s position as the world’s leading global financial hub post-Brexit.

 “As such, it is vital that the momentous progress the City has made in digital services in the last 12 months continues. We have launched the fastest free street wi-fi in Europe, delivered new Fibre-to-the-Premises ultra-fast broadband in the City, and now this test-bed gives an indication of how 5G might one day be applied in various industry sectors.

 “As well as a technological first, as one of the country’s largest funders of cultural activities, the Square Mile is being redefined as a world-class cultural destination, sending a signal to the world that London is – and will always be – a welcoming, open, and resolutely international city.”

Professor Mischa Dohler, Professor of Wireless Technology and Head of the Centre of Telecommunications Research at King’s College London said:

"Under the operational leadership of Dr Maria Lema Rosas and the 5G team, King's College London was able to build and deploy the world's first end-to-end 5G system comprised of standards-compliant Ericsson equipment and various advanced software components.

“We are immensely proud to have achieved the world's first 5G application in the arts and cultural space, with the incredible support of the City of London Corporation, Ericsson and renowned artist Ali Hossaini. It is the product of years’ long engagement with important stakeholders in technology and the arts, and testimony to King’s incredible research and innovation capabilities.

“To be the first in the world to showcase live a technology which will fundamentally change our society for the better, is very humbling. We are delighted that King’s and our ecosystem has become a global go-to-place for industries regarding 5G innovation, design and delivery.”

Marielle Lindgren, Head of UK & Ireland, Ericsson said:

5G will play a fundamental role in enhancing what is possible for people, industry and society and will lead to a wealth of new opportunities. We believe that working in collaboration with governments, industries, operators and academia will be key to the success of 5G and we’re proud to work with King’s College and the City of London Corporation to showcase the kind of innovation that 5G can enable in areas such as the performing arts.”

In 2016, King’s College London was funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) to develop and test 5G mobile technology. They are part of a £1 billion commitment through the Government’s Digital Strategy to keep Britain at the forefront of connectivity by accelerating the deployment of next generation digital infrastructure and driving forward new 5G business opportunities.

Through the King’s College London 5G Tactile Internet Lab, the university is also pioneering several important 5G co-design approaches with various industries, including smart cities, smart transport, performing arts and health.

The City of London Corporation are 2018 winners of the Total Telecom Connected Britain Awards. This year receiving the Barrier Removal Award for their Standardised Wayleave Toolkit which has streamlined the complex legal process around broadband connections and led to faster installations for customers, and the Wireless Connectivity Award for their Gigabit Wi-Fi network and roll-out of 4G small cells across the Square Mile.

Notes to editors

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About the City of London Corporation

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

About The City Centre

The City Centre is the place to come to learn about and debate the built environment of the Square Mile and home to the City of London’s official architectural model. Through exhibitions, events and learning activity, The City Centre provides access to the City for professionals, the public and young people, helping to inform good decision-making and inspiring young people to engage with the built environment. It is managed by Pipers on behalf of the City of London Corporation

King’s College London 

King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2017/18 QS World University Rankings), among the oldest in England and has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research.

Since our foundation, King’s students and staff have dedicated themselves in the service of society. King’s will continue to focus on world-leading education, research and service, and will have an increasingly proactive role to play in a more interconnected, complex world.

World-changing ideas. Life-changing impact: 

About Ericsson

Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency, and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York.

About the Brandenburg Gate Museum

The Brandenburg Gate Museum tells more than 300 years of Berlin history in a new Edutainment format. Situated in close proximity to the Brandenburg Gate, the multimedia show opened its doors in April 2016, is free from linguistic barriers and can be understood by visitors from all over the world.

The Brandenburg Gate Museum conceived and set up by the creative agency TRIAD Berlin, offers a unique journey through time. 87 hightech screens with 180 million pixels as well as a 38 channel-surround-sound system allow visitors to witness the revolution, the Fall of the Wall and the 2014 football World Cup in a thrilling manner. Semitransparent mirrors placed in front of the monitors produce optical effects that seem to dissolve the spatial boundaries of the room and that manage to involve the spectator.

Additionally, an exhibition centered on the historical events documents the dramatic changes that took place around the Brandenburg Gate. The highlight is a true to scale copy of the head of Nike, the goddess of victory who steers the Quadriga chariot.