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UK Next Gen 5G Mobile Broadband Development Centre Gets a Timetable

Monday, Nov 4th, 2013 (2:06 pm) - Score 882

Ofcom has revealed that the UK government’s £35 million+ investment to setup a 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey, which will be used to develop the next (5th) generation of ultrafast Mobile Broadband technology, is due to be completed by the start of 2015.

As first revealed over on year ago (here), the new centre will bring together mobile network operators, telecoms equipment makers and researches (several hundred of them) in the hope of setting the future pace for a forthcoming 5G standard; assuming they can get it all setup before somebody else achieves the same feat first (Europe have similar plans).


The project will also include the development of a 5G test bed, based on the University campus, on which to test technologies in a real-world environment.

Steve Unger, Ofcom’s Chief Technology Officer, said:

Ofcom welcomes the University of Surrey’s important initiative, which will help ensure that the UK is a global leader in developing a roadmap towards 5G. It’s vital that Ofcom understands future technology evolution, which will help shape our strategy for managing radio spectrum in the years ahead.”

At present the top 4G (LTE Advanced) technology must be able to deliver peak theoretical speeds of up to 1Gbps (Gigabits per second) and it’s often envisaged that 5G would take download speeds to 10Gbps or possibly even 100Gbps. Huawei already claims to be making progress (here) and many other projects are also testing future wireless enhancements.

However “early 2015” is a long time to wait in the fast-paced world of telecommunications. On the other hand Ofcom doesn’t expect the relevant 700MHz radio spectrum band to be ready for 5G services until 2018 “at the earliest” and many other groups are touting a date of closer to 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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