Huawei pledges £5m to 5G research center in UK, aiming to demonstrate real-world service by 2018

Huawei pledges £5m to 5G research center in UK, aiming to demonstrate real-world service by 2018

Huawei has pledged £5 million towards 5G research at the University of Surrey in the UK, in a bid to help the organization study and test the next generation of data transfer standards.

The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) is aiming to perform real-world (rather than lab-only) testing of 5G technologies, and while Huawei’s contribution should help things along, it’s only a drop in the ocean compared to the $600 million the company has already pledged to spend on 5G research globally by 2018.

The next step for the 5GIC is to build a test bed – a process that will be completed in three stages over the course of about a year. The first phase is scheduled to be finished by around April 2015, when testing will begin.

When the whole test bed is operational, penciled in for September next year, the University of Surrey will have a live 5G infrastructure covering its whole campus of around 17,000 staff and students. Huawei is hoping it can demonstrate live 5G technologies before the start of 2018, which keeps it about on track for a 2022 rollout in the UK.

Of course, without a technical definition of 5G just yet, it’s still early days, but Huawei said that the technologies it plans to test are capable of delivering between 1 and 10 gigabits per second. For comparison, Google’s Fiber fixed-line product offers speeds of around 1Gbit per second, so 5G could potentially offer theoretical speeds of ten times as fast.

Image credit: Shutterstock

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