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Cisco, University of Strathclyde and Scotland 5G Centre announce 5G Cloud Core network

Networking tech giant, leading university and national hub for accelerating deployment and adoption of 5G team up to create enterprise-grade cloud and core systems to deliver benefit to communities and businesses

The Scotland 5G Centre is joining networking tech giant Cisco and the University of Strathclyde to develop a new private 5G Cloud Core network to underpin 5G research and development efforts in Scotland.

With 5G delivering potentially game-changing applications – the partners gave the examples of new control mechanisms for manufacturing, productivity improvements in agriculture and community-based networks to plug “not-spot” areas in 5G coverage – the Scottish government is investing £4m through the recently announced S5GConnect programme to accelerate the adoption of 5G. 

These funds, channelled via the Scotland 5G Centre, will be allocated to deliver a network of 5G innovation hubs supporting business sectors and innovative use cases. The 5G Cloud Core is a key contribution towards this initiative to promote innovation, investment and improve rural connectivity.

The companies also recognised that as 5G technologies require cloud-based technology with more flexible architectures, the deployment, hosted in the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, will aim to provide opportunities for organisations internationally to innovate and test new technologies on state-of-the-art private mobile and wireless networks. The private 5G Cloud Core network will also underpin 5G research and development efforts.

“We are delighted to be working with Cisco and our other industry and Scottish government partners on this exciting project to accelerate the development of private 5G networks,” said Jim McDonald, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Strathclyde. “We have a 30-year heritage working in wireless and mobile communications at the University of Strathclyde, and our 5G and software-defined radio teams are working extensively with industry partners to build private and ‘neutral host’ 5G networks.”

At the end of February 2021, Cisco launched a suite of products that it said would reduce the headaches of integrating multi-supplier telco stacks, improve network congestion and video quality, and improve network operations and performance across residential networks. It has also launched line cards for a key router line.

In the Scottish project, the new 5G network will see Cisco Cloud Services Stack for Mobility, based on the Cisco Ultra Cloud Core, underpin research and development of 5G connectivity in Scotland. The 5G Cloud Core network design and deployment will be led by Cisco customer experience teams working with local partner Ping Network Solutions.

“We are proud to be working on this ambitious build with our long-standing partners at the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish government’s Scotland 5G Centre initiative,” said Ishbell MacPhail, country manager at Cisco Scotland. “We have already seen terrific use cases of 5G technology in Scotland. Not only does this development align with our vision of creating an inclusive future for everyone, it demonstrates Strathclyde’s commitment to its local community, to Scottish business more generally, and the steps being taken to further Scotland’s place at the forefront of technological innovation.”

Paul Coffey, CEO at the Scotland 5G Centre, added: “Scotland has an exciting and integrated technology scene, and real ambition to create innovative solutions using 5G technologies. With the innovation hubs being supported by the Scottish government, and partnerships such as this one with Cisco, we can share enterprise-grade cloud and core solutions to deliver real benefit to communities and businesses.”

The Scotland 5G Centre is sited in the Glasgow City Innovation District, a partnership between the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurial Scotland. The new 5G Cloud Core will contribute to the Scotland 5G Centre’s strategy to launch 5G innovation hubs across the country.

The Scotland 5G Centre was set up in October 2019 as the national hub for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G and realising economic and societal potential. It is a partnership between the University of Strathclyde (which hosts the centre), the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Futures Trust.

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