Testbed 1

Testbed 1 focuses on exploring the benefits of emerging technology including 5G and the internet-of-things (IoT). In 2019-20 we explored how partners might work together to:

  • enable emerging technology and governance
  • effectively collect, share and store data about the Testbed 1 area (see map below)
  • pilot emerging technology including placement and design in the Testbed 1 area.

In 2020-21, we will continue to run pilots selected in FY19-20 and are planning a number of new pilots, based on our learnings on trialling new technologies and the processes and policies established in Testbed 1 with our founding partners.

Pilots in progress

As a result of Challenge 3 in FY19-20, a number of pilots were selected by judges to implement into the Testbed Environment. You can read more about Challenge 1,2 and 3 in the Previous Testbed 1 Activity section.

The first two technology pilots of the 5G and IoT testbed are now active.

Pilot 1: End to End IoT Park Solution

A range of sensors have been installed in Argyle Square to help City of Melbourne understand park activity. They have been installed to help us understand:

  • rubbish bin fill levels
  • pedestrian counting
  • bench and stage use
  • humidity and temperature of different tree species
  • local air quality
  • local rainfall levels
  • local wind speed

These sensors collect data that will help us to improve the Argyle Square park experience now and into the future. If relevant, these learnings may be applied to other parks and open spaces in the City of Melbourne.

Microclimate at Tram Stops

In partnership with Yarra Trams and Active Reactor, a microclimate sensor will be installed on a city circle tram to help us understand how temperature and humidity impact the comfort of passengers and Yarra Trams employees at tram stops.

Further pilots will continue to come online later in July. Updates on these pilots including more information will be posted in this section.

Location of Pilots

Pilot 1: End to End IoT Park Solution Pilot

Pilot 1 is located at Argyle Square. This park is bordered by Lygon Street and Cardigan Street and was chosen due to it’s location in the Melbourne Innovation Districts (MID) - City North.

This area was selected as it:

  • includes a mixture of residential and commercial planning zones and open space
  • encompasses mostly local roads owned and operated by City of Melbourne
  • covers areas of significant pedestrian activity
  • is located within the MID City North and includes University of Melbourne and RMIT University buildings.

MID is a partnership between City of Melbourne, University of Melbourne and RMIT University with a shared vision to develop a world class innovation district and environment that supports and develops next-generation Melbourne. City North has been selected as the first MID innovation district because of its long and successful history of innovation, and the concentration of knowledge institutions and investment in this part of Melbourne.

Pilot 2: Microclimate at Tram Stops

Pilot 2 is located on a City Circle Tram. This tram line circles the CBD. We selected this tram as the it is the only Tram Route that stays within the municipality. If the pilot is successful, we may expand this pilot to include more tram routes.

map of pilot 2 area

Select image to enlarge


The current Testbed 1 partners were selected through an expression of interest (EOI) process in early 2019. You can read more about the process we undertook in the Previous Testbed 1 Activity section. Testbed 1 commenced at the end of March 2019.

Through the EOI process we secured six types of partners, including:
  • Telecommunications – providing 5G and IoT signals
  • Hardware – providing IoT and/or 5G hardware
  • Infrastructure – providing infrastructure where IoT and 5G can be located
  • Data – providing data from the testbed back to partners
  • Community Lab partners – providing hardware, software and physical space
  • Innovation – using the 5G signal, IoT hardware and data to solve city challenges and test new applications.

Next steps

Testbed 1 is currently working on bringing online a number of pilots. Pilot 1 and Pilot 2 are now online, with more pilots coming online later in 2020.

In the 2020-21 financial year, we are planning to run a city challenge leveraging the City of Melbourne Testbed function, based on the processes and policies established and our learnings on trialling new technologies during 2019 and 2020 testbed activity.

Testbed 1 insights will continue to be used to inform our roles, priorities and policies – as both a city custodian and innovation enabler – for future emerging technology roll-outs.

Future Testbeds are planned to be launched to further develop and test elements of emerging technology.

Previous Testbed 1 Activity

Partner EOI Guidelines

5G spectrum licenses will officially commence in Australia in March 2020. Leading up to and beyond this date, we understand that there will be a concerted increase and effort for telecommunications companies to rollout 5G enabled technologies.

This presents a variety of challenges and opportunities for us and our community in creating an ideal 5G and IoT enabled future.

  • Currently, there is minimal cross-sector activity when it comes to testing emerging technology. The amount of infrastructure required for 5G creates an opportunity for public and private organisations to collaborate on the next generation of connectivity and other emerging technology.
  • Fully functional 5G coverage with low latency and high bandwidth will require up to 100x more infrastructure that is visible in the public realm and inside buildings. Working together with partners, we have the opportunity to develop and design infrastructure plans that fit into the existing public realm aesthetic, are optimised for performance and ensure seamless connectivity.
  • Existing telecommunications business models allow larger telecommunications providers to own and maintain their own infrastructure. This factor combined with the amount of infrastructure required for full 5G coverage is resulting in a more cluttered public realm. However, 5G hardware, including small cells allow for multiple telecommunications companies to co-locate in small cells to provide their own 5G signal. We are well placed as a vendor neutral organisation to bring together the major telecommunications companies to co-design shared infrastructure at lower cost and with less clutter.
  • Implementing projects that utilise emerging technology such as IoT in the municipality can be complex and long. When projects are up and running, there are no existing agreements in place to share the benefits of captured data with other organisations and individuals that may benefit. Working together with partners, we have the opportunity to co-design data governance and collaboration agreements that allow relevant parties to understand city activity in a deeper way than ever before.
  • Community understanding of 5G and IoT technology is heavily influenced by marketing and media. Through the testbed activity, we and our partners have the opportunity to communicate, educate and involve the community in the delivery of new technologies.

Applications were open from Thursday 28 February and closed 11.59pm on Friday 15 March 2019.

  • Acknowledgement of receipt of your EOI does not guarantee acceptance of your application or any individual business as a Testbed 1 partner. Acceptance as a testbed partner is at our sole discretion, based on an objective and merit-based process according to the Requirements outlined below.
  • We have overall responsibility for the delivery of the testbed community engagement and maintain creative, directional, and conceptual control of all community engagement components.
  • We may propose partnering/collaborating with other businesses/organisations if there are applications that align with yours.

Testbed 1 partners are responsible for all costs associated with the delivery of their partnership contribution. For future testbeds, subsidies and/or incentives may be available for certain types of participants, e.g. startups, small businesses, researchers.

To be considered for selection in the testbed, testbed partners fell into one or more of the following categories:

  • Telecommunications – providing 5G and IoT signals;
  • Hardware – providing IoT and/or 5G hardware;
  • Infrastructure – providing infrastructure where IoT and 5G can be located
  • Data – providing data from the testbed back to partners;
  • Community Lab partners – providing hardware, software
  • Innovation – using the 5G signal, hardware and data to solve city challenges and test new applications.
Testbed partners described their proposed contribution to Testbed 1 in 300 words or less.

Testbed partners must be willing to work with us and other partners by:

  • Having a registered ABN or equivalent.
  • Demonstrating upon request that your organisation has the capacity to deliver your testbed contribution in a safe and legal manner, including holding appropriate insurance cover
  • Agree to meet appropriate Data Security Standards. For example: Hypercat, ISO 37106:2018

Successful applicants must agree to:

  • Deliver their testbed contribution in a safe and legal manner, hold appropriate insurance cover (public liability), and if requested provide risk assessment, safety plans and insurance certificate.
  • Be available to participate in Stakeholder Workshops for Data Governance and Collaboration Agreement development in March/April 2019.
  • Be available to attend meetings as requested by us in advance over March-May 2019. Proposed testbed meeting cadence is: weekly working group meetings, fortnightly phone call updates, 3 x half-day workshop attendance and monthly steering committee meetings until the end of the project.
We reserve the right to reject an application where:
  • There is a conflict of interest with our direction, reputation, objectives, partners or sponsors.
  • There is not adequate evidence to show the application will be delivered to the standards expected.
  • The EOI is from, or is about, a promotional offer, retail discount, competition, marketing campaign or online business/initiative.
  • The EOI does not comply with these terms and conditions.

Allocation of places in the program has been exhausted.

Previous challenges

The Testbed 1 Partners worked together to solve challenges 1, 2 and 3 to:

  • explore the processes and policies needed to trial new technologies
  • trial new technologies in the streets and parks of Melbourne in the City North Testbed area
  • establish relationships with partners to test emerging technology.

We established relationships, policies and procedures through Challenges 1 and 2. Work on Challenge 3 is almost complete, and we have developed multiple emerging technology pilots that will test new technology in the Testbed 1 location.

The intent of Testbed 1 is to establish an optimal innovation environment, where we can test emerging technologies to solve future city challenges in 2020 to 2021 and beyond.

Testbed 1 will establish new models that harness emerging 5G and IoT technology, which may be incorporated into future testbeds and broader smart city use cases across the municipality.

The purpose of Challenge 1 was to define the framework of rules, relationships, systems and processes for an emerging technology testbed.


  • We co-designed a collaboration deed with 26 partners that:
  • States ways of working to accommodate organisations from multiple sectors including large, small, public and private in the testbed.
  • Sets out a clear model for accountability and responsibility of any testbed activity.

The insights gained from Challenge 1 are being used to inform:

  • 2020 to 2021 activity in Testbed 1
  • future testbeds
  • longer term municipality decisions that balance industry, city, and community needs in the rollout of future technologies such as 5G and IoT.

The purpose of Challenge 2 was to establish data collection, sharing and storage protocols that allow us and relevant stakeholders to share existing and new data sets in the testbed.


We co-designed a data sharing procedure and data sharing policy document with 26 partners that:

  • Sets out how to assess any new data to be collected in the physical area of Testbed 1.
  • Defines where and how any data collected should be stored and shared.
  • Defines how the data should be collected to establish standardisation and maximise data-set applicability.

The insights gained from Challenge 2 are being used to inform:

  • 2020 to 2021 activity in Testbed 1
  • other data sharing activity required by City of Melbourne projects in partnership with external stakeholders
  • future testbeds.

The purpose of Challenge 3 was to pilot 5G and IoT infrastructure that met the solution criteria of:

  • A. Connectivity without the clutter: make invisible or camouflage 5G, IoT and other hardware in the urban realm.
  • B. Create opportunities for data collection about activity in the urban realm to better address the information needs of key stakeholders including City of Melbourne, researchers, startups, businesses and the community.
  • C. Create maximum community benefit and amenity to better service the urban realm.


We had 12 pitches from 16 of the 26 partners for Challenge 3. The panel of judges included representatives from City of Sydney, City of Melbourne, Victorian State Government and Carlton Residents Association, and an independent 5G and IoT expert.

All pitches were judged on whether their presentations met solution criteria A, B and C and the extent of which they met the following:

  • Innovation: How is your solution different or unique to something that may already exist? To what extent is your submission unique to, or adds value to, any existing solutions?
  • Impact: What is the potential impact of your solution? We are interested to know the potential impact of your idea on the target audience in regards to the opportunity area/s.
  • Technically and conceptually sound: To what extent is your solution supported by quantitative or qualitative data? For example, use of City of Melbourne’s Open Data, other research, evidence and insights, or consultation with users. Describe how this data has influenced the development of your solution.
  • Feasibility: How can your solution translate into a sustainable and cost effective operating model? We are interested to know how easy it would be to create a sustainable and cost effective business from this idea.
  • Scalability: Briefly describe your strategy to implement and scale your solution. How do you plan to encourage adoption of your solution, particularly by your target audience, and what is the potential to scale?

The judges selected a number of pitches to become pilots.

We are now working with the relevant Testbed Partners to deliver these pilots. To find out more go to the Pilots in Progress section on this page.