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5G Mobile Innovation Network Goes Live to Oversee UK Trials

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 (1:41 pm) - Score 1,398

The government supported UK5G innovation network has officially launched this week to help research, develop and oversee trials of the future 5G Mobile technology, which could one day deliver peak Mobile Broadband speeds of 20Gbps (with under 5ms latency) and eventually replace 4G.

Last year’s Spring Budget 2017 announcement initially committed £16m toward setting up the new facility with the technology to run related tests (here) and since then the UK government has also released another £25m to support the first of six technology trials (here), which cover everything from wireless rural broadband networks to robotics and Virtual Reality (VR).

Meanwhile the 3GPP has already declared completion on the first part of the official 5G specification (5G New Radio Non-Standalone) and this work is on-going. Similarly Ofcom are currently auctioning off the first 5G targeted mobile spectrum band – 3.4GHz (here) – and they intend to follow that by the end of 2019 with 700MHz (here). Other bands will eventually join those two (e.g. 26GHz).

The plan is to oversee much of the related R&D side via the new UK5G consortium, which brings together organisations from across the 5G eco-system.

UK5G’s Mission Statement

• Build and nurture a community that brings together industry, researchers and research organisations, the public sector, entrepreneurs, innovators and end users to accelerate the UK’s development and take-up of 5G.

• Share the knowledge and lessons of emerging 5G R&D activities.

• Enable new introductions and collaborations between technologists, potential new entrants and major industrial adopters.

• Identify key developments, opportunities, innovation challenges, and barriers to adoption.

• Provide an up to date information source for industry; a clear location for research, technology and industry collaboration; and an attractive offer for overseas businesses wishing to understand the advantages of investment into the UK and its test-bed network.

• In partnership with Government, support inward and outward investment opportunities.

• Promote Knowledge Building and sharing through Working Groups, Members’ Events etc.

The group has also appointed a large Advisory Board today, which includes representatives from many familiar organisations (BT, the Wireless Infrastructure Group, Ofcom, UK Broadband Ltd. [Three UK], Samsung etc.). The Chair of the board has been named as Rosalind Singleton of UK Broadband Ltd.

UK5G Advisory Board Members:

Name: Role and Organisation

Rosalind Singleton (Chair): UK Broadband Ltd

Prof. Adam Beaumont : aql, University of Leeds

Alastair Davidson : Wireless Infrastructure Group

Alex Connock : Missile

Antonella Faniuolo : OFCOM

Catherine Michel : Sigma Systems

Chris Walker : QinetiQ

Claire Harvey : RedBee Media

David Stokes : BT

Dimitra Simeonidou : University of Bristol

Dritan Kaleshi : Digital Catapult

Eman Martin-Vignerte : Bosch

Howard Benn : Samsung

Ian Simmons : Magna International

John Naylon : CBNL

Keith Willetts Founder, : TM Forum

Keith Robson : 5G Innovation Centre and SetSquared

Mansoor Hanif : Independent (ex-BT)

Mark Stansfeld : giffgaff, WLEP and Midlands Engine

Martin Green : Visteon

Mike Short : Dept for International Trade / EM3 LEP

Paul Beastall : Cambridge Consultants

Rick Robinson : Arup, West Midlands LEP

Simon Fletcher : Real Wireless

Sylvia Lu : u-blox

At the current rate of progress it’s widely anticipated that the first full commercial deployments of 5G Mobile should begin during 2020, which is partly because it will take this long before all of the necessary radio spectrum has been released.

Ian Smith, DCMS’ 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme Director, said:

“The Government are determined that the UK be a world-leader in 5G and that we provide reliable, high-speed connectivity to our towns, cities and rural areas. We are rightly very excited about what UK5G can do for the growing 5G ecosystem in the UK, to help make that vision a reality.

I’m delighted to endorse UK5G’s very impressive Advisory Board membership and look forward to working closely with them as we develop future plans for the 5G Programme.”


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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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