The U.K. is keen to be a leader in 5G. And the government is plowing 16 million pounds into a test network in an effort to help make that happen.
The 5G trial network is being developed by experts from King’s College London, the University of Bristol, and the University of Surrey. It will consist of three small-scale mobile networks, which will be located at each of the academic institutions.
The Bristol effort will focus on smart campus and smart city applications. The institution also will contribute software-defined network technology to the trial network.
King’s College London will take the lead on the ultra-low latency 5G tactile Internet part of the effort. This aspect of 5G makes the technology suitable for such applications as remote surgery.
And the University of Surrey will focus on the 5G radio technologies and virtualization mobile core at 3.5GHz and 700MHz spectrum. That will help to enable enhanced mobile broadband and ultra reliable low latency communications.
The overall effort is being referred to as the 5G Hub. It aims to support projects in such areas as autonomous vehicles, connected cars, healthcare, and other applications and verticals. End-to-end testing on the 5G Hub is planned for early in 2018.
“We want to be at the head of the field in 5G,” said Minister for Digital Matt Hancock. “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.”
Professor Rahim Tafazolli, director of the 5GIC at the University of Surrey, added that the test bed will enable trials of secure, interoperable technology and services that are designed to withstand attempted cyber attacks.
U.K. communications regulatory body Ofcom this month established rules for a 5G spectrum auction that is expected to begin in October. However, a carrier called Three is unhappy with those rules and indicated it may challenge them in court.
Edited by Alicia Young