5GIC forms partnership to tackle smart cities

Two UK-based research institutes announced a partnership to develop technologies for future "smart cities" that could be used as standard approaches across the UK.

The partnership between the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) and Digital Greenwich, part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, will essentially involve the establishment of test beds to trial technology ahead of its commercial deployment.

Digital Greenwich and the Royal Borough of Greenwich are also working on the formation on a smart city strategy that will be designed to cope with future challenges as urban populations grow. Indeed, cities all over the world are investigating how technology could help them better organise transport, health, energy and the urban environment, while new 5G networks are seen as a fundamental part of future smart city developments.

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, director of 5GIC and Institute of Communication Systems, said: "Fundamental to next generation smart city applications is the creation of a robust communications systems. Working with Digital Greenwich will enable the 5GIC to develop solutions targeted at multiple use cases in a city context. The partnership will also provide the foundation to drive standardised solutions for all of the UK to benefit from the technology."

Dr Mike Short, VP of the Telefónica Group, explained that 5G would also only be successful if "real world experience" is blended with these new technologies alongside existing infrastructure such as transport and energy.

"Greenwich together with 5GIC support represents a great place to explore the application of new technology within part of one of the largest cities in the world," Dr Short added.

The partnership also has the support of ETSI: the CTO of the standards body, Adrian Scrase, said the cooperation between Greenwich and Surrey will ultimately help to define next generation technology that is "fit for purpose" and can be practically implemented in a real environment.

"ETSI looks forward to the results of this partnership being fed back into the standardisation process," Scrase said.

For more:
- see this release from the University of Surrey

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