Huawei announced details of its involvement in the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) based in Guildford, England yesterday (4 November 2014).
The 5GIC will be the world’s leading independent facility for researching and trialing 5G technologies. As part of the 5GIC’s work, Huawei and other technology partners are working in collaboration, to develop the world’s first 5G test bed, based at the University’s campus, where emerging 5G technologies will be tested in a real-world environment.
As one of the founding members of the 5GIC, Huawei has provided expertise in and equipment for large scale radio access for the test bed. Overall, Huawei is investing £5m in the 5GIC, part of the $600m the company is committing to 5G research and innovation globally by 2018.
The test bed will take just over one year to complete and will be built in three separate phases. The first phase will be operational by April 2015 and will be used collaboratively by 5GIC researchers and industry partners to develop and test advanced technologies and actively contribute to shaping the communications standards of the future.
5G will deliver unprecedented data speeds, promising mobile broadband ranging between 1 gigabit and 10 gigabits per second; and it will transform wireless communication, allowing a myriad of applications in machine to machine communication in areas including healthcare, transport, vehicle telematics, the development of smart cities and entertainment.
Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, said: “The UK is at the forefront of 5G development thanks to initiatives like this collaboration between the University of Surrey and Huawei. This will help maintain Britain’s position as an international home for innovation and put us at the heart of the development of the next generation of mobile technology.”
Dr. Tong Wen, CTO of Huawei Wireless Networks, said: “Huawei is committed to researching and developing future technologies that help build better connected societies, businesses and economies. Making 5G a success will be essential in achieving this. Our work with the 5GIC at the University of Surrey will enable us to test cutting-edge, fifth-generation mobile technologies in an open and collaborative environment, and help to turn the vision of 5G into a reality.”
Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Head of 5GIC at the University of Surrey, said: “The 5GIC is in a unique position to deliver next-generation communications through close collaboration with global telecommunication leaders like Huawei.
“This world-leading test bed will be used to develop proof of concepts, validate standards and test vendor interoperability. It will be progressively upgraded as 5G technology emerges, to allow the next wave of applications and services to be explored.
“The facility is open to partners from anywhere in the world, and we will also be introducing a low-cost way for SMEs and startups to test their innovations for 5G compatibility and showcase their products to a wider audience.”
Overview of the planned activity in the 5G test bed during 2015
The first phase of development will focus on initiating and verifying a cloud-based radio access network for an ultra-dense network demonstrating unprecedented capacity to end users. This will lead to the verification of the new waveform designed for 5G, including sparse code multiple access (SCMA).
Upon completion, scheduled for September 2015, the test bed is expected to deliver a live 5G infrastructure network covering the whole of the University of Surrey campus, providing nearly 17,000 students and staff with the latest communications technology. The plan is to demonstrate 5G technologies before 2018.
The 5GIC is the world’s first dedicated 5G Centre and an international hub for telecommunication research and innovation with unique large scale 5G experimental facilities and specialised laboratories for end to end network testing.
The consortium, which includes: Aeroflex, AIRCOM International, BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe, Huawei, Ofcom, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Telefonica, Vodafone, Ascom International, Roke Manor, Connected Digital Catapult, ITRI, EM3, has pledged time, expertise and other contributions which together total more than £55 million. This will be added to the £11.6m that was awarded by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).
The Centre collaborates with key ICT service providers, network and device manufacturers and test equipment solution providers to develop innovative solutions and standards for 5G networks and generate significant downstream benefits for both our partners and the wider economy and community.