UK puts £16m into 5G university partnership

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

Three leading UK universities are to work together on 5G with the aid of £16m of government funding

The UK government is to put £16 million into a project to link 5G work by three universities, leading to end-to-end trials of the emerging mobile technology.

Bristol University, King’s College London and the University of Surrey will link their 5G test beds into a 5G Hub that will be integrated at the system level and connected across the three sites. It will build sufficient capability and capacity for further nationwide test and trials of 5G technologies and advanced applications.

Matt Hancock, the UK’s minister for digital, said: “We want to be at the head of the field in 5G. 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.”

Bristol University will deploy 5G capability in the extensive Smart City and Smart Campus test beds in the city, targeting full 5G and fibre infrastructure convergence. Bristol will also contribute to software defined network (SDN) technologies for end-to-end 5G service delivery. The university will focus on media, gaming and transport applications.

King’s College London is focusing on ultra-low latency 5G tactile internet developments, with its existing tactile internet lab. It is working with sectors including smart cities, smart transport, performing arts and health.

The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre will lead the project and develop 5G radio technologies and a fully virtualised mobile core network at 3.5GHz and 700MHz bands.

Hancock added: “We know 5G has the potential to bring more reliable, ultrafast mobile connectivity, with quicker reaction times and larger data capabilities, and I’m thrilled to announce King’s College London and the universities of Surrey and Bristol have agreed to collaborate on this project.”

The initial end-to-end testing will be carried out early next year across the three universities’ sites. It will be ready for connection of external test beds and applications across the UK. The test bed will focus on solutions for the operation and management of 5G networks with new levels of efficiency and resilience.