Aston University welcomes 5G technology testbed

Fibre Optic

5 September

  • Aston University welcomes 5G testbed in Birmingham
  • WMCA awarded £25 million to develop and establish 5G network
  • Aston University researchers pledge support and expertise for trial

Aston University is delighted that the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has won £25 million from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to establish a testbed for 5G technologies in Birmingham.

The university which backed the WMCA bid for the 5G trial, has considerable expertise across numerous research disciplines related to 5G technology. The Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies (AIPT) is an internationally leading research institute with a 25-year history of research in optical fibre communication technologies; arguably the backbone of 5G infrastructure.

Aston also has considerable strengths in wireless and adaptive networks, with expertise in edge, fog and cloud computing. We also have deep expertise in Artificial Intelligence and computing approaches fundamental to 5G rollout.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor Sarah Hainsworth said: 

“We are excited that the WMCA has been given the opportunity to establish a 5G testbed.  Our research expertise matches the needs of providing a smart, connected city in Birmingham and we look forward to working closely with WMCA as the project progresses.”

The university campus would make an excellent 5G testbed. With a student population of approximately 14,000 and 1,200 academic and administrative staff, the university's 60-acre single campus site is spread across four buildings, the library, the main building, the European Bioenergy Research Institute and the Business School. A new student union building is also under construction. The Directors of Estates and IT are both excited about the prospect of a 5G testbed on campus and are prepared to commit time and resource to facilitate this exciting opportunity.

A 5G testbed also aligns with Aston's strategic intentions regarding smart cities technology. The university intends to dedicate significant resources to smart cities aligned science and technology, building on our on multi-disciplinary research strengths to develop advanced smart city technologies, solutions, applications, services and business models. 5G research and innovation is a vital part of this strategic intention.

Aston University is prepared to make a significant practical and intellectual contribution to the 5G testbed, committing researcher staff time and providing access to research facilities as appropriate.


Notes to the editor

Photos (click links to download)

·         Aston University campus pictures

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

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