UK’s £41m 5G mobile broadband research test bed to launch in 2015

Next-generation mobile broadband technology will be developed in the UK at a £41.6 million 5G Innovation Centre from January 2015.

The research centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford is being funded by Aeroflex, Aircom International, BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu, Huawei, Ofcom, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone.

It will be home to 150 researchers and around 100 PhD students, who will develop advanced technologies for a 5G network of the future, and test them in a real world environment.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, a leading expert in the field and Head of the University of Surrey’s Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), said: “4G technologies are revolutionising mobile connectivity in the UK and will continue to do so over the next decade, but it is extremely important for us to find innovative ways of coping with the levels of mobile communications data traffic that are expected to continue rising.

“The world desperately needs advanced technologies to connect the next generation of mobile users to the internet and to efficiently support billions of devices such as sensors and actuators which are important components of the Internet of Things.”

The consortium has pledged time, expertise and other contributions which together total more than £30 million, on top of £11.6m from the Higher Education Funding Council of England under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund.

The 5G Innovation Centre will upgrade today’s 4G technology for everything from ultrafast Gigabit mobile broadband to low-power communication for Internet of Things sensors and actuators.

Steve Unger, chief technology officer at Ofcom, said: “Ofcom welcomes the University of Surrey’s important initiative, which will help ensure that the UK is a global leader in developing a roadmap towards 5G. It’s vital that Ofcom understands future technology evolution, which will help shape our strategy for managing radio spectrum in the years ahead.”

The technology challenges facing broadcasters and mobile operators will be examined by the Digital TV Group and its partners at an event on November 20 in London, Exploding Demand for Mobile Data: efficient spectrum use for smart cities.

DTG Staff  |  06.11.2014

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