LONDON – Huawei, Samsung and other communications vendors said they will support research at the University of Surrey on fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications technology.
The companies will provide about $56 million to create a 5G research center on the university's campus in Guildford, England.
Most of the funding is coming from mobile operators and infrastructure providers, including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde & Schwarz and Aircom International. The U.K. government is providing about $18 million through it's U.K. Research Partnership Investment Fund.
The research funds are intended to launch a 5G center that would stimulate expansion in U.K. telecommunications R&D, innovation and the provision of broadband mobile Internet services. The expectation is that early adoption of 5G will eventually generate economic growth.
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"The global telecommunications industry, valued at $2.1 trillion per annum, is already responsible for 6 percent of world GDP. Mobile communications data traffic is expected to increase 1,000-fold by 2020, by which time there will be an estimated at least 50 billion Internet-capable devices," said Rahim Tafazolli who heads the university's Center for Communication Systems Research.
U.K. companies played a key role in the creation of the European 2G cellular standard for mobile telephony, or GSM. That in turn helped create the global carrier Vodafone. Since then, the U.K. has fallen behind in developing technologies for the 3G and 4G wireless standards.