University of Bristol, BT and Nokia to research 5G networks

November 27, 2017 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
A live 5G-based proof of concept designed to test and validate smart urban applications over next-generation mobile networks will be deployed in Bristol city centre as part of 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 systems 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 Massive MIMO 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 deployment will examine the optimum models for 5G as part of a future urban dense networks that will maximise coverage and speed, using a combination of research and commercial solutions such as Nokia’s AirScale and AirFrame infrastructure. Future activity will focus on the use of 5G as an enabler of ‘Internet of Things’ technologies, examining areas such as immersive tourism and connected transport.