The 4G row has now been settled and last week we reported
that we could see the new mobile broadband service rolling out to some cities
at the end of this month, thanks to the existing spectrum owned by EE, who will
begin offering the service before the Ofcom auction at the end of the year.
Now, Surrey University has received a £35m investment from
mobile operators, infrastructure providers and the UK Research Partnership
Investment Fund to begin looking into 5G. Work to build a 5G Innovation Centre to
carry out research at the University has already begun,
"The boundaries between mobile communication and the
internet are blurring, so the fifth generation is internet on the move,"
Surrey University’s Professor Rahim Tafozolli told the BBC.
A consortium of companies are to provide £24m of the funding
including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe and Fujitsu Laboratories Europe,
the other £11m will be provided by the Investment Fund.
to ZDNet, the technology is unlikely to be seen in the UK, or anywhere
else, before 2020 as it is so new it hasn’t even been formally named yet by
bodies such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
"Although the UK played an active role in the creation of 2G
(GSM) cellular standards, it has increasingly fallen behind in succeeding
generations of 3G and 4G standards,” Tafozolli said.
"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.”
He went on to say that the University started working on 4G
ten years ago and that it’s now "old hat” and that mobile data traffic is "soaring”,
all but doubling year on year.
"It looks like every year the traffic is doubling.
Unfortunately capacity is not doubling every year. We need to come up with
technology, within the limited radio spectrum that we have, to accommodate this
he added that 5G would have to be more economical than 4G if the UK hopes to
keep costs down and preserve energy.