Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica, Vodafone and UK regulator Ofcom are some of the wireless industry heavyweights helping bring to fruition the University of Surrey's 5G Innovation Center (5GIC) on its main campus in Guildford, England. The center, in the planning stages for the past year, recently began preparatory work to initiate construction, which will not be completed until January 2015.
The consortium--which also includes Aeroflex, Aircom International, BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu and Rohde & Schwarz--has pledged "time, expertise and other contributions" which together are valued at more than £30 million ($40.3 million), according to the university.
A year ago, the effort received some $15.6 million from the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) under the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).
The 5G research center will eventually have room for 150 researchers and about 100 doctoral students and will feature a 5G test bed on the university campus.
"We will use state-of-the-art 4G as the starting point for our work and complement this with even more advanced technologies which place the user at the heart of the design process," said Professor Rahim Tafazolli, head of the university's Center for Communication Systems Research.
Tafazolli added that the 5GIC project ultimately aims to "create the perception of 'infinite capacity'" for wireless networks.
Wen Tong, a Huawei fellow, said the Chinese vendor "has not only made a significant financial commitment to the center but is also a key partner in developing the future strategy for research and development in this crucial and expanding sector of the world economy."
With few exceptions, Europe has been playing catch-up when it comes to LTE deployments, which have been led by the United States, Japan and South Korea. But that has not stopped the European region from focusing on the next generation of mobile communications, commonly called 5G, in which it aims to secure a leadership position that it can leverage for future dominance. One example is the METIS 2020 research project, which is considered the European Union's flagship 5G initiative and is spearheaded by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).
- see this University of Surrey release
- see this Mobile World Live article
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