A £70m 5G research centre has officially opened at the University of Surrey with support from major telecoms firms including Huawei, EE and Samsung.
The opening of the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) marks three years since the first plans for creating a leading telecoms research centre were proposed at the university, headed up by professor Rahim Tafazolli.
5G is the next generation of mobile data and will be a huge leap forward in terms of speeds, capacity and latency over 4G. This should enable technologies such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected cars.
The centre has been funded with a budget of £70m, including £12m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and from the firms involved in the centre.
Professor Tafazolli explained at the opening of the 5GIC that it will be fundamental in developing 5G technologies.
“This centre is the first of its kind and will help us focus our efforts on 5G technologies and the impact they will have on the connected world,” he said.
Tafazolli added that the 5GIC has set itself ambitious goals for its research, such as making 5G 50 times faster than 4G, and its capacity per square metre 1,000 times that of 4G, which will be key for M2M and IoT systems.
“Connectivity of devices to the internet will be as important as communications between people, and there are numerous industries that need to be modernised with wireless technologies in areas like cars, homes, future factories and health services,” he said.
Tafazolli also revealed that the centre has achieved a world's first 5G test of 4K ultra high definition delivered on a 5G network.
The 5GIC workied with Huawei and the BBC to create the test, which involved sending footage filmed at a resolution of 3840x2160 at 50fps over the network at a speed of 100Mbps to 200Mbps using a 5G video codec.
The centre had already been operational before the official opening, and V3 reported earlier this year how the centre had achieved a 1Tbps speed test in lab conditions, with plans to carry out a real-world test next year.
The 5GIC has already been awarded nine patents on its research, and plans to contribute its first official findings to standards bodies from next year.
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