Huawei commits £5 million to University of Surrey 5G tests


Chinese manufacturer aiming to build 5G infrastructure on University campus by September 2015

Huawei has unveiled details of how it will contribute to 5G testing as part of its £5 million investment in the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC).

The Chinese manufacturer will work with other technology collaborators to develop the world’s first 5G test bed, which will open at the Surrey University campus by September 2015.

The investment is part of Huawei’s $600 million global investment into researching 5G technology, which 5GIC claim will bring data connection speeds of between 1Gbps and 10Gbps.

Huawei will also provide it’s expertise in and equipment for large scale radio access at the test bed, where 5G technologies will be tested in a real world environment.

Huawei Wireless Networks CTO Dr. Tong Wen said: “Huawei is committed to researching and developing future technologies that help build better connected societies, businesses and economies. Making 5G a success will be essential in achieving this.

“Our work with the 5GIC at the University of Surrey will enable us to test cutting-edge, fifth-generation mobile technologies in an open and collaborative environment, and help to turn the vision of 5G into a reality.”

Three stages

Collaborators to the project include EE, Vodafone, Telefonica, Samsung and BT, who will all contribute to the test bed, which will be built in three stages over the next year.

The first phase of development will involve 5GIC partners developing and testing a cloud-based radio access network that will provide greater capacity to users.  It is expected to be completed by April 2015.

This will then be used to verification of a new waveform designed for 5G, which 5GIC promised will have data speeds of between 1Gbps and 10Gbps – more than ten times the speed currently available to consumers.

Upon completion of the test bed next year, the 15,000 students and staff at the University of Surrey will have access to a live 5G infrastructure covering the whole of the campus. 5GIC aims to demonstrate the technology before 2018, with wider released aimed for 2020.

Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey said: “The UK is at the forefront of 5G development thanks to initiatives like this collaboration between the University of Surrey and Huawei. This will help maintain Britain’s position as an international home for innovation and put us at the heart of the development of the next generation of mobile technology.