The Centre for Communications Systems Research (CCSR) at the University of Surrey is the largest academic centre for mobile/wireless communication technologies in Europe, with a long history of industry collaboration. A recent example of CCSR’s success is attracting industry support is the creation of an International Centre for Research and Innovation for Future Generation Mobile Broadband Internet and Communications Research (5G Innovation Centre – 5GIC).

The 5GIC proposal has gained £35m support from HEFCE and major international telecommunications companies including Vodafone, Telefonica, Huawei, AIRCOM International, Fujitsu, Samsung, Sony and Rohde-Schwarz. The Centre will provide industry with a world-leading real-time experimental facility for testing and optimising advanced technologies, and will give the UK the opportunity to be a major influence in critical standardisation and radio regulatory bodies in the emerging 5G “Internet on The Move”. UK will be the first country in the world to test 5G technologies in such as large scale.

The ICT sector is responsible for 12% of Europe’s GDP, with an annual market value of €660 billion. ICT also accounts for 3% of total employment (6.1m) in the EU25, and plays a vital role in enhancing other sectors' business growth. With 5G standards only just at concept level, the creation of the 5G Centre is perfectly timed not only to drive innovation in this emerging technology but also to place the UK in an ideal position to exploit the economic opportunities that will be created. Links are already being forged with the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, focusing on opportunities to develop Internet of Things and Digital Media applications.

Luke Ibbetson, Head of Group Research & Development Technology, Vodafone, said: “Given our scale and international profile we feel that we are well placed to judge the merits of a bid such as Surrey proposes and our view is that this is potentially one of the most important developments that Vodafone has seen over the last decade in the UK.

“The creation of the proposed 5G Centre would not only regain the ground that has been lost since the UKs active involvement in 2G but gives the UK the prospect of hosting the World’s leading development centre in 5G.”

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