• New 5G network will see Cisco Cloud Services Stack for Mobility, based upon the Cisco Ultra Cloud Core,underpin research and development of 5G connectivity in Scotland
  • Deployment will enable businesses and organisations internationally to test and innovate new technologies on private networks
  • New 5G Cloud Core contributes to Scotland 5G Centre strategy to launch 5G innovation hubs across the country

March 11th, 2021: Cisco, the University of Strathclyde, and the Scotland 5G Centre will deliver a pioneering new private 5G Cloud Core network to underpin its 5G research and development efforts, building on  Scotland’s reputation as a leading innovator in rural connectivity, and Cisco’s leadership in the world’s most innovative mobile network deployments.

As 5G technologies require cloud-based solutions with more flexible architectures, the deployment, hosted in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, will provide opportunities for organisations internationally to innovate and test new technologies on state-of-the-art private mobile and wireless networks.

With 5G delivering potentially game changing applications – for example, new control mechanisms for manufacturing, productivity improvements in agriculture and community-based networks to plug “not-spot” areas in 5G coverage – the Scottish Government is investing £4 million through the S5GConnect programme to accelerate the adoption of 5G.  These funds, channelled via the Scotland 5G Centre, will be allocated to deliver a network of 5G innovation hubs supporting business sectors and innovative use cases. This new 5G Cloud Core is a key contribution towards this initiative to promote innovation, investment and improve rural connectivity.

The 5G Cloud Core network build will see Cisco’s Cloud Services Stack for Mobility, based upon the Cisco Ultra Cloud Core, specifically support and underpin research into private networks in rural connectivity projects – including the 5G New Thinking project, and new emerging projects across  the network of innovation hubs announced last year.

The 5G Cloud Core network design and deployment will be led by Cisco Customer Experience teams, who have already deployed many major 4G and 5G networks across the globe. Working with local partner Ping Network Solutions, the Cisco experts will bring their 5G experience to Scotland, to complement that of the 5G software defined radio team at University of Strathclyde and the Scotland 5G Centre.

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said: “The Scottish Government’s investment of £4m through the S5GConnect programme will enhance and widen digital capabilities across the country. We believe that it is through supporting our businesses to embrace, utilise and innovate in next generation technologies such as 5G that we can go on to create something special for people, businesses and communities now and in the future.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde said: “We are delighted to be working with Cisco and our other industry and Scottish Government partners on this exciting project to accelerate the development of private 5G networks.  We have a 30 year heritage working in wireless and mobile communications at the University of Strathclyde, and our 5G and software defined radio teams are working extensively with industry partners to build private and ‘neutral host’ 5G networks.  

“With our wider engineering base, including our research teams based in the heart of Glasgow City Innovation District, and industrial centres such as our Advanced Forming Research Centre, and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre, we are working on use-cases in the areas of transport, space, health, manufacturing, agriculture, and fintech, as well as more conventional efforts to connect people with our rural-based projects and networks.”

Ishbell MacPhail, Country Manager, Cisco Scotland, said: “We are proud to be working on this ambitious build with our long-standing partners at the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Government’s Scotland 5G Centre initiative.

We’ve already seen terrific use cases of 5G technology in Scotland. Not only does this development align with our vision of creating an inclusive future for everyone, it demonstrates Strathclyde’s commitment to its local community, to Scottish business more generally, and the steps being taken to further Scotland’s place at the forefront of technological innovation”.

Paul Coffey, CEO at Scotland 5G Centre, said: “Scotland has an exciting and integrated technology scene, and real ambition to create innovative solutions using 5G technologies.  With the innovation hubs being supported by Scottish Government, and partnerships such as this one with Cisco, we can share enterprise grade cloud and core solutions to deliver real benefit to communities and businesses.”

The Centre is sited in Glasgow City Innovation District, a partnership between the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurial Scotland.

Previous examples of joint investment in Scottish innovation include the Cisco-led projects, 5G RuralFirst and 5G New Thinking. With significant investment from Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme – focused on accelerating national digitisation agendas – the 5G RuralFirst project used 5G technology, including a 5G radio access network (RAN) deployed on Orkney, in partnership with key local technology companies on Orkney, (Cloudnet IT Solutions and SHEFA) and full support and engagement from Orkney Islands Council.  This network was installed in some of the harshest and hardest to reach locations in the UK. This award-winning project included collaboration with Orkney-based use-case partners such as Scottish Sea Farms – a salmon farm in Scapa Flow – and Hammar’s Hill windfarm.

5G New Thinking is a Cisco-led project, with 15 partners including principal partner the University of Strathclyde, and the Scotland 5G Centre.  It is an evolution of 5G RuralFirst and also part-funded by Cisco’s CDA programme. This project is investigating the provision of mobile/wireless connectivity via shared and local spectrum licensing options. By working closely with communities, the project will develop a toolkit to allow the creation of neutral host based private networks that provide rural connectivity for cooperatives of consumers, local enterprise, councils and other stakeholders.  This will deliver new options for Scotland and other countries worldwide to proactively plug localised gaps in connectivity using the latest 5G technologies.



For more information, please visit:

Cisco, The Network: https://thenetwork.cisco.com

Strathclyde 5G Software-Defined Radio Team: https://sdr.eee.strath.ac.uk

Scotland 5G Centre: https://www.scotland5Gcentre.org

5G New Thinking: https://www.5GNewThinking.co.uk

5G RuralFirst: https://www.5gruralfirst.org/

Ping Network Solutions: https://www.ping-ns.com/


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About the University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university based in the centre of Glasgow. Inspired by our founding principle as ‘a place of useful learning’, our mission is to make a positive difference to the lives of our students, to society and to the world.

The excellence of our research is evidenced by our position amongst the UK’s top 20 research-intensive universities, according to the Times Higher Education’s analysis of REF2014, and by the growth in range and scale of our research collaborations.

Strathclyde was named the Times Higher Education UK University of the Year 2019, the Sunday Times Good University Guide Scottish University of the Year 2020 and in November 2019 was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its excellence in energy innovation.

Strathclyde also hosts the Glasgow City Innovation District, a hub for entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration. Located in the heart of Glasgow City Centre the district combines world-class skills and talent base, a vibrant city atmosphere and a community of companies, researchers and organisation dedicated to supporting innovation, all focussed on tackling societal and global challenges and driving economic growth.

The University has a 25 year heritage working in mobile and wireless communications engineering.  The 5G Software Defined Radio team (https://sdr.eee.strath.ac.uk/) work in partnership with a number of industry and civic partner on projects including the Scotland 5G Centre funded Wave 1 Rural Tested project at Loch Lomond and the DCMS 5G New Thinking project.

About Ping Network Solutions

Ping Network Solutions are a Cisco Gold partner with over 10 years’ experience delivering large complex projects for our customers, from supporting organisations through mergers and acquisitions, office re-locations to full scale global network refresh covering LAN, WAN, Security, Wireless, DC and Telephony solutions.

About Scotland 5G Centre

The Scotland 5G Centre, S5GC,  (https://www.scotland5Gcentre.org) was set up in 2019 to support the adoption and rollout of next generation mobile and wireless technologies in Scotland.  S5GC has core funding from Scottish Government, and founding partners are the University of Strathclyde, University of Glasgow, and Scottish Futures Trust.  The Centre is a partner on the Cisco-led 5G New Thinking Project.