BT leads on rural 5G trial in Wales

Technology like 5G could help provide new opportunities for education in rural areas of Wales, according to a new trial launched today.

5G Wales Unlocked is the innovation project behind the new immersive 360-degree classroom in Ebbw Vale, just one of several trials demonstrating how ultrafast technology like 5G could transform rural communities, from powering tech innovations in agriculture, to improving rural transport and education and bolstering the tourism industry. 

Using a localised 5G network provided by BT as one of the project partners, the classroom uses the high-speed connectivity to project inspiring and educational video content onto all four walls in a 360-degree format, providing an immersive experience.

Lessons can be delivered across a variety of curriculum-related themes, taking children and young people on a journey of the senses as they ‘dive’ into the detail of a plant cell or explore the surface of a planet.

Thanks to the ultrafast 5G connection, live link-ups have also been established, allowing learners to discover the fascinating history of heritage sites such as Raglan Castle, with a live virtual tour from a Cadw custodian located at the site.

The live link-ups can also be used to connect classrooms across the country, meaning pupils can work collaboratively with other learners, and educators can enhance their own lessons in partnership with other schools.

Welsh Government Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles MS said: “It’s fantastic to see learners in Ebbw Vale benefitting from next-generation technology, thanks to this innovative project.

“It’s our ambition to see Wales leading the way in using digital technology to deliver high-quality education, and to raise attainment and skills of all learners, regardless of background. This trial will help learners in rural areas engage with the curriculum in an exciting, immersive environment.”

Nick Speed, BT Group Director in Wales, said: “We’re excited to be part of this pioneering project looking at the potential of 5G in rural areas.

“The immersive classroom is a brilliant example of how 5G’s greater bandwidth can help deliver rich, high quality content to inspire school pupils about the world, wherever they’re located. It has the potential to reduce the education gap between areas and make sure that all pupils have access to this kind of innovative learning material.”


5G Wales Unlocked has been made possible by funding from the Welsh Government’s Tech Valleys Programme and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

About 5G Wales Unlocked

5G Wales Unlocked is an innovation project demonstrating the commercial value of improved connectivity in rural Wales to accelerate the deployment of 5G and digital services across the region.

The project is led by the Welsh Government and involving a consortium of partners comprised of BT, Cisco, Cardiff University, Jam Creative Studios, Monmouthshire CC, Blaenau Gwent CBC, UtterBerry and AppyWay.  The project has received grant funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

 For more information, please visit 5gwalesunlocked.co.uk or follow 5G Wales Unlocked on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

About BT

BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.

For the year ended 31 March 2021, BT Group’s reported revenue was £21,331m with reported profit before taxation of £1,804m.

British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

For more information, visit www.bt.com/about