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UK Commits GBP35m to Develop Next Generation 5G Mobile Broadband Tech

Tuesday, Oct 9th, 2012 (9:28 am) - Score 673

The UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced a new £35 million partnership between mobile phone operators, telecoms equipment makers and the University of Surrey that aims to develop the 5th Generation (5G) of Mobile Broadband technologies.

Never mind the fact that 4G superfast cellular mobile services haven’t even gone live yet (excluding UKBroadband’s fixed TD-LTE network) and are still years away from reaching maturity by adopting the 1Gbps (Gigabits per second) capable LTE-Advanced standard. No just forget that because 4G is now so.. yesterday.

It’s understood that the money will help to establish a new collaborative international research centre (5G Centre) that can provide real-time experimental facilities; this should be used to underpin the development of new mobile internet products and services. The project is supported by major firms like Huawei, Telefonica (O2 UK), Fujitsu and others, which will contribute £24m to the effort.

The rest of the funding forms part of the now £300m strong UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UK RPIF), which was launched earlier this year with an initial budget of £100m (this was recently boosted by a further £200m). To access the money, universities must match the funding by at least double from private companies or charities.

As it stands today there is no firm official or even unofficial definition of what a 5G service should look like (10Gbps, 100Gbps capable? Possibly), although many other groups around the world are also involved in researching it. But, given the time that it took to develop the 4G standard and 3G before it, we probably won’t see 5G until around the year 2020.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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