After being behind the times in regards to the emergence of 4G, the government has just approved a project that aims to place the UK at the forefront of 5G development.
The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills approved a £35 million funding bid from the University of Surrey that will go towards the establishment of a specialised 5G research centre housing prototypes of devices running on the next generation spectrum.
The sum includes funds gathered from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (RPIF), which donated £11.6 million as a part of its mandate to support long-term university capital projects, and a further £24 million that comes from a consortium of businesses that operate within the mobile telecommunications sector including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde-Schwarz and AIRCOM International.
“Although the UK played an active role in the creation of 2G (GSM) cellular standards, it has increasingly fallen behind in succeeding generations 3G and 4G standards," said Rahim Tafazolli, head of the University of Surrey's Centre for Communication Systems Research, of the habitual lagging of UK telecommunications development.
"The university's industry partners have identified this proposal as the single biggest opportunity for the UK to regain a world leading position in the development of 5G technologies and for the development of vibrant businesses around the technologies," Tafazolli added.
The University of Surrey is not the only successful bidder as there were six other institutions that received RPIF funds ranging between £10 million - £35 million. To access the public funds, universities must match or exceed those funds with additional investment from private companies or charities.