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The UK is unlikely to be the first with 5G, admits professor

Despite plans for a £35m 5G research centre
Wed Oct 10 2012, 14:13
Mobile spectrum antenna

THE UK is unlikely to be the first country to roll out 5G connectivity, despite plans to launch a £35m research centre, professor Rahim Tafazolli has admitted.

Plans to launch a fifth generation wireless research centre in the UK were announced earlier this week. The centre will be run under a partnership between the University of Surrey and top mobile firms including Samsung, Telefonica and Fujitsu, in a bid to ensure that the UK will become a "leading nation" on the technology.

However, Tafazolli, head of the University of Surrey's Centre for Communication Systems Research told The INQUIRER that although the UK will probably be the first to have the 5G technology in place, it's unlikely to be the first to roll out the high-speed connectivity.

When quizzed as to whether the UK will be the first with 5G, he said, "Yes, with technology rather than deployment. Deployment and service offerings timescale depends on many non-technical factors such as business model, market, etc."

"We are also in close discussions with Ofcom which would help in determining how much radio spectrum is needed and which frequency bands should be made available for 5G.

"All these factors are important in service provisioning time plan of 5G."

However, he did say that 5G trials could begin in the UK as soon as mid-2013 despite no planned rollout until at least 2020, adding that target 5G speeds are 10Gbit/s per cell.

Still, at least we've got 4G to look forward to. The UK's first 4G network launched earlier this week, with EE set to launch its 4G LTE mobile network on 30 October. µ


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