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

Tuesday, October 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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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10 Responses
  1. Deduction says:

    “…we probably won’t see 5G until around the year 2020.”

    Just in time to drive the final nail into fixed copper lines and what is currently average 50Mb FTTC speeds.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      Assuming these don’t develop in parallel, that there is not any /much take-up of FtTp on demand and that services develop that require significant bandwidth.

    2. New_Londoner says:

      @Deduction
      Like I said “..assuming these (FTTC) don’t develop in parallel…”

      No doubt you have since read the article Markj has posted

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/10/genesis-technical-systems-preps-400mbps-dsl-rings-broadband-tech-for-q2-2013.html

      So it looks like your statement is already looking pretty shaky!

    3. Deduction says:

      Yeah we are all going to pay line rental on TWO OR MORE lines to get 400Mbps when this could run at the Gbps mark. More maths problems?

    4. FibreFred says:

      Why would you pay 2 * line rental? Can’t see it being costed like that at all, you’ll pay for the product I would assume, not extra line rental as I assume the second line is data only anyway

    5. zemadeiran says:

      Lets wait and see if Mark gets some answers from them in regards to the questions I posed in the previous article.

      Every year that passes, more and more people switch to a completely mobile solution due to the power of handheld devices.

      This is the state of play.

  2. Mark says:

    Wireless is so the future i along with thousands look forward to the day we do not rely on BTs copper mafia any more. Just a matter of time, 4G already is a good alternative 5G will be even better 🙂

    1. DTMark says:

      If this became widespread, we might truly be able to say that we had the best broadband in Europe. Though not by 2015.

    2. FibreFred says:

      You’ve gotta laugh that people are raving about wireless which as we all know never delivers the headline speeds it states it can and suffers from interference etc etc, much like DSL does.

      So everyone’s slating copper (fair enough) but raving about wireless which suffers from the same factors 🙂

  3. zemadeiran says:

    Wireless technology is driven by market demand.

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