University of Bristol working with industry leaders to conduct joint research into 5G

5G is coming to Bristol

A 5G network that is designed to test and validate mobile networks of the future will be deployed in Bristol City centre.

This project is a joint research programme between the University of Bristol, BT and Nokia.

Using leading research expertise from the University of Bristol, and cutting-edge 5G network solutions and radio access points from Nokia combined with spectrum from BT, the test network will run over Bristol City Council’s dedicated fibre infrastructure around Bristol’s Millennium square.

It will connect to the ‘Bristol Is Open’ smart city platform and be backed by the ‘We The Curious’ science centre, which will be used for public demonstrations of the technology.

The University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab has recently received funding from the ‘5G Testbeds and Trials Programme’ from the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to establish the ‘5GUK Test Networks’.

Over the coming months the test network will be used to explore and validate the deployment of 5G architecture that integrates existing technologies with innovations such as radio access solutions, software-defined networking, network slicing and edge computing nodes functionalities.

These technologies allow operators to use multiple antennas to boost the capacity of wireless networks, and to split a single physical network into multiple virtual networks, delivering reliable and high-capacity services to several applications and vertical sectors.

The initial test-bed deployment will focus on Millennium Square in central Bristol, with future plans to expand the trial across the city of Bristol, and also to the region such as Bath city centre.

Dimitra Simeonidou, Director of the Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol and Chief Scientific Officer of Bristol Is Open, said: “Recently announced as the UK’s top ‘Smart City’, Bristol is well placed to conduct this pioneering work that will use innovative network and wireless technologies that will help improve services, businesses and infrastructure in our cities and region.

“We have long-standing relationships with both the BT Labs and Nokia’s Bell Labs Research, and with this new collaboration we are looking forward to demonstrating the very significant advances resulting from introducing 5G mobile technology.”

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