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5GIC: Details of 5G test bed at University of Surrey’s Innovation Centre emerge

Details of a new 5G test centre that’s being built at University of Surrey’s have been revealed, along with plans to open a new research centre in January 2015. 

The university has revealed details of a £41.6 million project that will help develop and test 5G technologies in real-world environments at the main campus in Guildford. 

The centre will be home to 150 researchers and around 100 PhD students and is being partially funded by £30 million of investment from a number of companies and government bodies including EE, Ofcom, O2, Samsung and Vodafone. 

5GIC: Details of 5G test bed at University of Surrey’s Innovation Centre emerge
The 5GIC will be built in Guildford, home to the University of Surrey’s George Edwards Building

Head of the University of Surrey’s Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR) Professor Rahim Tafazolli is looking forwards to collaborating and defining the future of mobile communications in the UK: 

“By bringing together leading academics with heavy-weight industry partners, I believe we can develop the technologies that are required to provide much-needed capacity, drive economic growth and actively contribute to and shape the future 5G system. 

“Ultimately, our vision is to provide a consistent and reliable mobile communications service and create the perception of ‘infinite capacity’ and with our partners working alongside us, the University is looking forward to making this vision a reality.” 

As well as allowing for much faster download speeds, Ofcom wants a 5G auction to kick off by 2018 to avoid an impending capacity crunch. It’s predicted that a data drought could be on us if the demands of gadget hungry consumers continue to grow. 

The test centre will use current-gen 4G devices as a starting point for the work and examine how customers and subscribers are currently using 4G right now. With EE poised to launch a 4G home broadband product, 5G stands to revolutionise more than just mobile services, something researchers will want to consider. 

A previous Samsung test demonstrated speeds of 1Gbps, albeit on a radio frequency that’s likely to be unused for 5G services in this country. The potential for gigabit broadband over the airwaves should be an exciting prospect for rural customers living in areas where fibre deployment would be expensive or prohibitive. 

Dr. Yong-Suk Moon, President of Samsung’s R&D Institute UK, said; “The 5G Innovation Centre is believed to drive the development of core technologies for the next generation communication to provide citizens Gigabit experience. Samsung Electronics is happy to contribute to this 5GIC collaborative project together with the University of Surrey and participating companies.”  

Image: Tim Sheerman-Chase/Flickr

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