£70 million 5G Innovation Centre opens at the University of Surrey

The UK has made a strong statement regarding its place on the road to 5G with the official opening of the 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey.

The 5GIC apparently accommodates 170 researchers and has already attracted £70 million in investment, including £12 million from the state. They are claiming the 5GIC is “…the world’s largest academic research centre dedicated to next generation mobile and wireless connectivity.”

“While we have already achieved record-breaking speeds, 5G is not only about delivering faster mobile internet,” said Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of the 5GIC. “It is a transformative set of technologies that will radically change our private and professional lives by enabling innovative applications and services, such as remote healthcare, wireless robots, driverless cars and connected homes and cities, removing boundaries between the real and cyber worlds.

“The ethos of the Centre is not built on competition but cooperation. 5G will be achieved through global collaboration so that everyone will benefit from working to a single standard. This technology will then be commercialised from 2020, driving economic development and research for the UK, while delivering research that will impact the world.”

As implied there are a lot of partners involved, including: EE, Huawei, O2, Vodafone, HEFCE, Enterprise M3, TEOCO Corporation, BBC, BT, Cobham, Anite, Ascom, Digital Catapult, Fujitsu, Rohde & Schwarz, Samsung, Roke, McLaren Applied Technologies, Ofcom, Imagination Technologies, ITRI, MYCOM OSI, Three and Ordnance Survey.

A highlight of the 5GIC is its testbed facility, which currently provides an advanced 4G network environment that will eventually be upgraded to 5G as well as some kind of IoT simulator. The testbed is expected to deliver cellular speeds of 10Gbps by 2018 and they’re already doing live demos of 4k video streaming over mobile.

“5G is more than just another tech upgrade – it’s a big deal that will fundamentally change how we interact with our world,” Payam Taaghol, CEO of MYCOM OSI, told “Understanding what this experience means to subscribers and the implications for mobile operators in delivering very low latency and very high reliability will be central to its success, and so it is significant that service assurance is playing an important part of the innovation around 5G and not being left as an afterthought.

“The major challenges with a 5G ‘testbed’ network are twofold: first, ensuring that as new 5G elements are designed and introduced into the network, their impact on existing 2G/3G/4G networks is fully understood.  5G will be introduced by operators incrementally, so this end-to-end understanding is vital.

Secondly, there is little value in innovation for innovation’s sake – it has to improve the end user experience.  The UK’s 5G Innovation Centre is making huge strides in the field, and we’re delighted to be playing an active role in helping to analyse and measure how its innovations are directly affecting the subscriber experience and giving clarity on just what a ‘5G experience’ really means.”


Discover the latest developments on the road to 5G at 5G World in London 28-30 June 2016



  • Private Networks in a 5G World

  • 5G Networking Digital Symposium

  • LIVE: Getting the Best out of 5G

  • 5G Ecosystem Digital Symposium

  • 2020 Vision Executive Summit

  • TechXLR8

  • BIG 5G Event

  • 5G World

  • 5G Latin America

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