Government invests £16m in three sites for 'world's first' 5G trial project

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 July 2017 in News

University of Surrey, Bristol University, and King's College London join forces to become 5G hub

Three university sites in Bristol, London, and Guildford have been picked by the government to form a “5G hub”. 

Digital minister Matt Hancock has announced that Bristol University, King’s College London, and the University of Surrey will be given a cumulative total of £16m in funding to become “test beds” for 5G technology. 

The three universities will work in partnership on research and design for the technology, and their collective work will represent “the world’s first trials of end-to-end 5G system”, the government claimed.

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The project will be led by the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre, where work will be done on 5G radio technology and a virtualised core mobile network. The Tactile Internet Lab at King’s College, meanwhile, will focus on working with representatives from industries such as transport, performing arts, and health during the design process.

Bristol University’s Smart City and Smart Campus facilities will work on converging 5G and fibre networks, as well as employing software-defined networking technology in 5G rollouts.

“We want to be at the head of the field in 5G,” Hancock said. “This funding will support the pioneering research needed to ensure we can harness the potential of this technology to spark innovation, create new jobs and boost the economy.”

The government hopes that the hub will help create and deliver 5G-based projects in areas such as self-driving cars and the provision of health services. Full testing of the 5G network developed by the hub is planned for early 2018.

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