5G mobile networks will offer speeds as high as 10Gbps with extremely low latency, making them a key driving force for the Internet of Things (IoT). However, such services are unlikely to be commercially available until 2020.
This is the view of the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) which is supported by leading telecoms companies such as Huawei, Samsung, Fujitsu and Vodafone.
As part of the industry’s commitment to the 5GIC, Huawai has announced that it will stump up £5m to support its work.
Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of 5GIC at the University of Surrey, said that with the support of leading telecoms firms the centre is ideally placed to ensure that 5G technology remains on track for future use.
In particular, he pointed to the creation of the test bed facilities at the university as critical to its work and plans for the future.
“As the world’s leading independent facility for trialling emerging 5G technologies and applications, this test bed will be used for proof of concepts, to validate standards and to test vendor interoperability,” he said.
“It will be the first of its kind to test new technologies that will allow for a high capacity, low latency, energy efficient and user-centric 5G network.
"It will feed into critical developments in areas such as the IoT and for applications where device battery life is critical.”
These tests will begin in September 2015 and the aim is to start demonstrating 5G technologies by 2018, with real-world commercial services live by 2020.
The university also believes that 5G networks will be able to understand users' requests dynamically and provision the necessary resources to ensure that everyone receives the bandwidth they require at any given moment.
The comments by Professor Tafazolli and the university echo those of the UK government which has urged the industry to ensure that the UK is well placed for 5G, and does not become too mired in the security concerns that it will inevitably create.
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