Surrey University gets £41.6m 5G mobile research centre off ground

Surrey University says its previously announced 5G mobile innovation centre is off the ground after a £30 million industry investment.

The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) on the university's main campus in Guildford has got the backing of communications industry regulator Ofcom, along with £30 million cash backing from a consortium that includes Aeroflex, AIRCOM International, the BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Huawei, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone.

This backing comes after the £11.6 million funding that was awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE), under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), in autumn last year.

Together with the University of Surrey the partners will conduct research into the development of advanced technologies for a 5G network of the future, to "establish a world-leading position in mobile broadband communications and internet innovations", said the university.

The project will include the development of a 5G “test bed” based on the university campus, where technologies will be tested in a "real-world environment".

The centre is expected to be open for business in January 2015, and be home to 150 researchers and around 100 PhD students.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of the University of Surrey’s Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR), said, “We have had an extremely busy year since the initial funding announcement last October, and we are delighted that the formal agreements are now in place and plans are under way to start turning the vision for a 5G Innovation Centre into reality."

He said: "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. We will use state-of-the-art 4G as the starting point for our work, and complement this with even more advanced technologies which place the user at the heart of the design process."

More connected devices that will form the Internet of Things is a chief driver of the project, he said.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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