Nokia and Bristol University Conduct Joint Research on Cutting-edge 5G Network Solutions

University of Bristol and Nokia, in a joint effort, will be deploying a live 5G-based, proof of concept designed to test and validate smart urban applications over next-generation mobile networks at the Bristol city centre in the UK.

Using leading research expertise from the University of Bristol, and cutting-edge 5G network solutions and radio access points from Nokia combined with spectrum from British Telecommunications (BT), the test network will run over Bristol City Council’s dedicated fibre infrastructure around Bristol’s Millennium square. It will connect to the 'Bristol Is Open' smart city platform and be backed by the "We The Curious" science centre, which will be used for public demonstrations of the technology.

The University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab has recently received funding from the '5G Testbeds and Trials Programme' from the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to establish the '5G UK Test Networks'. Over the coming months the Test Network will be used to explore and validate the deployment of 5G architecture that integrates existing technologies with innovations such as Massive MIMO radio access solutions, software-defined networking, network slicing and edge computing nodes functionalities. These technologies allow operators to use multiple antennas to boost the capacity of wireless networks, and to split a single physical network into multiple virtual networks, delivering reliable and high-capacity services to several applications and vertical sectors.

The initial deployment will examine the optimum models for 5G as part of a future urban dense network that will maximize coverage and speed, using a combination of research and commercial solutions such as Nokia's AirScale and AirFrame infrastructure. Future activity will focus on the use of 5G as an enabler of 'Internet of Things' technologies, examining areas such as immersive tourism and connected transport.

The initial test-bed deployment will focus on Millennium Square in central Bristol, with future plans to expand the trial across the city of Bristol, and also to other regions in the UK.