Huawei invests £5m in University of Surrey 5G innovation centre

Huawei invests £5m in the University of Surrey’s 5G innovation centre (5GIC) to develop 5G network technology

Huawei will invest £5m in the University of Surrey’s 5G innovation centre (5GIC) to advance the development of 5G technology.

The Chinese network and communications technology firm announced it will support the centre as part of its $600m global research into 5G networks.

Huawei made the announcement at an event on the future of 5G on 6 November 2014.

The firm will develop a test bed – alongside other companies such as Fujitsu laboratories, Vodafone, EE and Samsung – to trial a 5G trial network, it said.

“It will provide a real-world environment for open and collaborative tests, to develop the future foundation for 5G technologies,” said Wen Tong, CTO of Huawei wireless networks.

“In particular we put a strong emphasis on Europe and working together with the European ecosystem towards 5G realisation.”

Huawei has been pushing into European markets, and helped set up 18 Joint Innovation Centres (JIC) in Europe since its first venture with Vodafone in 2006.

Speed is not the main focus of 5G development, according to representatives from the University of Surrey’s 5G innovation centre.

Speaking at an event on the future of 5G, representatives from the University of Surrey 5GIC, Vodafone and Samsung said 5G would involve much more than faster internet connection. They said the main focus of the mobile network should be connectivity, modernisation and human interaction.

Rahim Tafazolli, director of the University of Surrey's Institute for Communication Systems (ICS) 5GIC innovation centre, said: “People have the perception that, when 5G comes, it’s going to replace everything else – it’s not.”

Adil Rouz, executive vice-president at Fujitsu, explained that the “new 5G era” will “combine human ingenuity with connected IT infrastructure” to offer a new human centric network which will provide reliability, connectivity and communication.

Earlier this year, Conservative MP and former minister David Willetts said the UK could be a leader in developing 5G networks if it is fast in implementing technology and standards.

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