5G research teams at King’s College London and the Universities of Surrey and Bristol will be awarded £16m to develop the 5G test network capable of processing huge amounts of data and supporting applications such as sending virtual reality 3D TV clips to mobile devices.
It is hoped the end-to-end 5G trial network will be deployed early next year.
It will also be used as part of government plans to introduce autonomous vehicles, robotics, augmented reality and remote surgery.
Minister for Digital Matt Hancock, writes:
“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.”
This test network is the first part of a four-year programme of investment and collaboration in the government’s new 5G testbeds programme.
The universities will work together to create three small-scale mobile networks which together will form the test network.
Each network will have a number of the elements expected in a commercial 5G network – including mobile signal receivers and transmitters and the technology to handle 5G signals – to support trials of its many potential uses.
“The project will build on existing research and help to make the case for timely deployment of 5G in the UK. It will help make sure the country is ready to capitalise on a potentially huge global market for 5G products and services and create opportunities for British business to grow at home and abroad,” said Hancock.
Rahim Tafazolli, University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre director, is the project lead and will be working with Dimitra Simeonidou from the University of Bristol and Mischa Dohler from King’s College London to deliver the project.
“This investment will ensure that the UK continues to be world-class in 5G innovation and development through to commercial exploitation,” said Tafazolli.