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Surrey students do 5G at a gigabit a second, thanks to new network

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Students at the University of Surrey in south-east England can download data at 1Gbps using a campus-wide network.

The university’s Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre has built its own 5G stand-alone (5GSA) network, using 100MHz of bandwidth on the 3.5GHz spectrum.

Yogaratnam Rahulan, chief architect at the centre, said: “This is a real breakthrough for our in-house built 5G mobile core network, which is compliant to 3GPP Release 15 and Release 16 standards.”

The campus network allows 5G-capable mobile phones to achieve download speeds of 1Gbps, said the centre.

Rahulan said that Surrey plans its own implementation of open radio access networks (open RANs), which it will demonstrate later in 2021.

“We are developing a lightweight network operation centre (NoC) to support dynamic, automated network management, control and slicing,” he added.

To develop what it calls “this ground-breaking 5GSA”, the innovation centre uses the massive multiple-input, multiple output (massive MIMO) 64×64 5GNR. The university added that the network uses its own 5G core that was wholly built by researchers at the centre. The team then used a commercially available 5G-capable mobile phone to test the end-to-end performance of its 5GSA.

“This means that — with the use of Surrey’s 5G core technology — most 5G enabled phones can download ultra-high-definition video content in seconds,” said the university.

“The stand-alone network could also be a game-changer for high-definition real-time video game services, allowing people to play their favourite AAA titles on the move.”

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, founding director of the centre, said: “We are in the process of developing commercial offerings of all of our 5G technologies and, with our newly launched 6G Innovation Centre, we believe the UK will also be a world leader in 6G when the technology comes to market in 2030.”

The university launched its 6G Innovation Centre in November 2020. It set up its 5G Innovation Centre in 2012 with aid from Huawei, Samsung, Telefónica, Fujitsu Laboratories, Rohde & Schwarz and Aircom International.

Tafazolli said of the 5G trial: “This is a landmark moment for 5G and our world-leading research team, illustrating that the UK’s knowledge, expertise and capabilities are pivotal to ensuring that the promise of 5G is fully realised with technologies developed in the UK. This test once again demonstrates that our 5G Core is 100% 3GPP standard-compliant and is a high performing solution.”

Rahulan added “Our state-of-the-art core is a fully virtualised solution that can be used on any cloud-native platforms.”

He noted that the university has already tested its 5G core with satellite systems, both geosynchronous and low Earth orbit (LEO).

 

 

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