WORCESTER Bosch has become the first-ever British factory with 5G wireless access, thanks to an innovative trial programme.

And the move is set to be a boost for industry across the entire county, putting it at the forefront of technological advance.

The trial is being carried out by the Worcestershire 5G consortium, led by the county council and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

Welcoming the move, county councillor Ken Pollock, the cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: "It's fantastic news for the county that the 5G factory trials in Worcestershire have begun. The project is a great example of what can be achieved by local partnerships working together with globally recognised brands and bringing real success.

"I look forward to seeing the positive impact and industry learning that the trials will bring to Worcestershire and our ambition of keeping the county open for business."

Worcester Bosch, based at Cotswold Way, Warndon, is testing the 5G to improve factory output. The company will also be exploring preventative maintenance, using sensors and data analytics to predict machinery failure.

Meanwhile, Malvern-based defence company QinetiQ has been designing security into the network and applications.

And manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak. based at nearby Badgeworth Drive, will also benefit from the trials, using 5G to conduct further trials that will demonstrate how it can be used to enhance productivity.

The technology will be used for two troubleshooting applications, one of these will allow senior engineers to remotely guide onsite engineers through machine maintenance.

The trials will all test the system's performance, taking initial measures of 5G speeds and latency.

In March 2018, Worcestershire was chosen by the government as a 5G testbed, putting the county at the forefront of technological innovation.

It is one of six phase-one testbed and trial projects funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.