The UK Government has Funded a project that will bring three leading universities (Bristol University, King’s College London and the University of Surrey) together for the development of an end-to-end 5G system. This £16m funding will help in linking of three sites in the UK via 5G test beds for the first time. The investment will fund leading edge technological developments at each of the three universities, linking all three sites through cutting edge design and research, and will see all three work in partnership to keep the UK at the forefront of 5G technology development.
Bristol University will deploy 5G capability in the extensive Smart City and Smart Campus test beds in the city, targeting full 5G and fibre infrastructure convergence. Bristol will also contribute to the key Software Defined Network technologies for end-to-end 5G service delivery. Public demonstrators will be the focus of delivery, targeting media, gaming and transport applications.
King’s College London is driving the vision for ultra-low latency 5G tactile internet developments with Internet of Skills applications. Through the King’s College London 5G Tactile Internet Lab, the university is also pioneering several important 5G co-design approaches with various industries, including smart cities, smart transport, performing arts and health.
The University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) will lead the project and develop 5G radio technologies and a fully virtualised mobile core network at 3.5 GHz and 700 MHz frequency bands for enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC).
The 5G Hub will be integrated at the system level and connected across the three university sites. It will build sufficient capability and capacity for further nationwide test and trials of 5G technologies and advanced applications.
The initial end-to-end testing will be carried out early next year across the three Universities’ sites. It will be ready for connection of external test beds and applications across the UK. An important aspect of the 5G Hub will be the test bed, which will develop innovative solutions for the operation and management of 5G networks with new levels of efficiency and resilience.
The 5G Hub will be the foundation to create and support projects in multiple areas, such as connected cars and autonomous driving, Industry 4.0, Health and many others, addressing major socio-economic and productivity challenges. It will use collaborative partnerships of working between the three Universities to develop the described 5G capabilities. They will also prepare for expansion to include other organisations from next year onwards.