Revolutionary 5G phone technology developed at Surrey University

News Posted 27/05/13
University plans a global first in developing 5G mobile technology

Research teams at Surrey University are set to be at the core of a technology revolution with work on a £35 million centre exploring 5G mobile development.

As part of the huge project, which will focus on massively increasing networks’ capacity, students on campus will be part of the initial testing phase of the new phone systems.

Architectural firm, Scott Tallon Walker, has been appointed for the construction of the centre, which will be the first of its kind in the world and expected to be completed by early 2015. The team will comprise of 130 researchers, backed by additional support from around 90 PHD students, with the building conforming to the highest BREEAM environmental standards.

Funding for the groundbreaking work has come from a combination of money from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, government and corporate sponsors.

The funding for the project comes from a variety of sources including the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), government and a range of corporate sponsors from the mobile communications industry.

Peter Dudley, Scott Tallon Walker’s Director of Science and Technology, said: “We see the new centre at the University of Surrey as a place where some of the finest minds in mobile communications from around the world will be sharing their visionary ideas.

“The Scott Tallon Walker practice is obviously delighted to have won such a prestigious competition but my colleagues working on the project are equally excited as they really want to see their ideas for this creative community in action.”

Speaking to South East Business, Professor Rahim Tafazolli, the director for the new centre at the University, said: “We have been doing mobile communications work for some time as part of a consortium with partners in industry.
“What we are doing here is helping put the UK on the map as we are the first centre in the world that has started research and development of 5G, which should be in use by 2020.

“The reason for the research is that internet traffic is doubling every year and by 2020, we will be using 1,000 times the amount of traffic that we recorded for 2010. If we don’t research 5G networks then we will be suffering a capacity crunch. So all our work is going to be targeted to address this problem.

We will be looking at technology for creating smaller phone cells and also putting transmitters on lamp posts in order to create wi-fi that offers high quality broadband on the move.
“As part of this we will be putting a 5G network within Surrey University campus, where students and our research team will be able to use the system. We hope that we’ll be able to involve a number smaller businesses with this work, so that we will be able to help the economy.

“It is not just the data capacity we are going to be looking at but energy consumption, especially with traffic doubling at its present rate. If we don’t do something about this then the cost of energy will keep rising. “I think the pace of mobile development has surprised everyone – we knew that internet applications were important, but it seems the market has really embraced social networking, so this is an exciting time.”

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