UK government backs 5G research

by: Simon HillOctober 9, 2012
Cell Tower

ExtremeTech (Image credit:)

It’s nice to know that the UK government’s austerity package hasn’t prevented it from ponying up around £300 million for a bunch of university and private research projects. That includes a provision of £11.6 million (around $18.6 million) for research into 5G. Everything Everywhere only recently got the green light to start rolling out 4G LTE in the UK, so with the fifth generation of mobile data networks the government is determined not to be late to the party.

The money will join up with £24 million (around $38.5 million) which has been provided by industry heavyweights like Telefonica, Samsung, Huawei and Fujitsu, and splash into the coffers of a “5G Innovation Centre” at the University of Surrey. The centre “will support the development of 5th Generation cellular communications.”

Apparently the university has already been working on 5G for a number of years and this new investment will take the work beyond theory and into development. According to Engadget “10Gbps has been banded around as a per-tower target, translating to roughly 200Mbps for each connection”, which is really quite fast.  To put that in perspective, Verizon’s 4G LTE network is offering average speeds around 9Mbps right now.

The researchers will also be looking for ways to make the network more economical and less power hungry. Prof Rahim Tafozolli told the BBC, “We are facing systems which are too expensive. We need something extremely energy efficient and cost efficient.”

The prospect of 5G speeds is pretty exciting, but we won’t be enjoying them until 2020.


    They are looking into 5G that will provide 10Gbps that translates into 200Mbps. LTE-A, or release 10 LTE has the ability to provide 1Gbps Stationary with optimum signal and backhaul and 100Mbps while mobile under the same conditions. Yes you are correct that Verizon’s LTe network averages 9Mbps but they are using a Release 8 LTE infrastructure @ 10X10 MHZ channel. T-Mobile will be launching a Release 10 20X20MHZ channel network in 2013 and the only thing stopping us from providing a 100Mbps throughput will be the ability of our fiber optic back haul network to handle the traffic. So I guess my point is that 5g will not be necessary for quite some time and when it is fully developed I predict much faster speeds than 200Mbps.