Published: 12 March 2018

The University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) helping the UK take the lead in the global 5G race

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced the winners of Phase 1 of the UK National 5G Test Beds and Trials programme that will provide major showcases for applications of 5G in important sectors of the UK economy.

5GIC will be working closely with three of these new test beds:

Worcestershire 5G Partnership (QinetiQ, Worcester Bosch and Yamazaki Mazak)

This partnership will focus on industry 4.0, delivering the ‘internet of things,’ factory automation and augmented reality for off-site engineers. The team will also work to ensure that the country’s future 5G network is safe and secure for use.

5G Rural First (BBC, Cisco, University of Strathclyde, SFT, and Agri-Epi)

Comparing three disparate rural sites with differing conditions, this project will provide a review of differing rural challenges and inform economics for business models: communities, agriculture, broadcast and local industry.

Autoair (Airpsan, McLaren, ARM, Quortus, RealWireless and BlueWireless)

An exciting technology and application programme for small cell 5G radio and connected vehicles.


All three test beds will connect to the 5GIC testbed for end-to-end trials of 5G.

The 5GIC is the largest open innovation centre for 5G development in the world. The centre has 26 corporate members and 250 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) in its wider network.  Supported from its inception by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, 5GIC established the UK’s first dedicated SME small scale 5G test facility at the Basingstoke Hub, and more recently the world’s first 5G digital creative hub for the internationally renowned Guildford and Aldershot digital games cluster.

5GIC is also leading the £16m collaborative Hub1 5G project for DCMS, with the University of Bristol and King’s College London, as part of a larger four year, £200m DCMS programme.  

Upcoming projects from the 5GIC include:

  • Demonstration of vehicle enabled 5G, ultra-high definition video, VR on the move and tactile internet.
  • European Regional Development Funding support for four digital business acceleration hubs for regional SMEs and start-ups in partnership with the SETSquared University Partnership.
  • A project to strengthen 5G SME competitiveness and to boost the use of 5G for gaming, cyber/blockchain and digital health applications.
  • An IoT health project for dementia care in the home with NHS.
  • A vehicle-to-vehicle 5G telecommunications project with the University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover and McLaren. 

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Founder and Director of the University of Surrey’s 5GIC, and leader of 5GUK Networks, said: “The 5G Innovation Centre is extremely pleased and proud to have been able play a leading part in in supporting the DCMS UK 5G Test Beds and Trials programme. 5G represents a fundamental transformation of the role that mobile technology plays in society, delivering rich new services in sectors such as finance, transport, retail and health. It will drive trillions of dollars of additional activity through the world digital economy and the DCMS programme will ensure that the UK stays at the forefront of this exciting global race.”

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