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Exciting times ahead as 5G testbed is installed

The new Institute for Communications building – home to the 5G Innovation Centre – is now complete, with only finishing touches left and staff already moving into their new offices.

Now that the building is complete, work is also underway installing a state-of-the-art 5G testbed on our Guildford campus, with input from our industry partners including Vodafone, BT, EE, Huawei, and Fujitsu. The testbed will be at the heart of our 5G research activities and will enable us to test new technologies and applications in the real world.

Installation is taking place across our Stag Hill site, with a network of three masts and 45 antennae creating a self-contained, small-scale, low-power mobile network. This facility will be the first of its kind globally and will be a vital addition to 5GIC’s research facilities, enabling students in relevant areas to benefit from access to world-class expertise and resources in 5G, Digital Economy and the rapidly expanding topic of devices connected to the internet; “The Internet of Things”.

The testbed will initially equip our researchers with the equivalent of a fully functioning 4G network which will gradually be upgraded over the coming months to a fully-fledged 5G system. The test bed has been designed in such a way that all of the devices used will operate at lower power levels than traditional Wi-Fi and mobile networks. It will not therefore interfere with any existing mobile or Wi-Fi signals on campus and will not affect service to personal devices.

The 5G Centre and its associated testbed will also help attract local and international businesses to the University and provide unique opportunities for innovation. We will welcome industry here to translate our ground-breaking research into real-world applications, using the testbed to develop and fine-tune a host of future mobile applications. Indeed, this is a very exciting time for the University as it begins to build the 5G network of the future right here on campus.