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Aston University Research helps to ‘Dial-up’ 5G Understanding

Aston University 5G Group and Big Data Corridor project, organised through the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, hosted the first in a series of regional 5G engagement events.

Professor Sergei Turitsyn, Director of Aston Institute of Photonics Technology, hosted a content led day which provide essential information and knowledge to local businesses about the exciting opportunism that 5G will have on the area.

The day included some exciting talks from some of the most informed members of the 5G Team, including an exciting overview of the benefits that 5G will bring from Robert Franks, Head of WM5G. Professor Rahim Tafarolli, Director of 5G Innovation Centre, University of Surrey, highlighted key technical challenges and uniqueness of 5G compared to 4G in his speech. Hiroyuki Marutani, Head of Networks and Managed Service Business, Ericsson UK & Ireland, spoke in depth about the development of commercial products exploiting 5G technologies, followed by presentations on different use cases by Peter Austin (Fujitsu), Nagaraj Konda (Infitech Solutions) and John Paddington (Conigital Group).

“We’re delighted that the Aston Team are playing a vital part in this exciting development for the West Midlands. 5G is fast becoming a tangible technology to provide effective solutions with its super-high data rate and super-low latency, ideal for mobile broadband, autonomous vehicles, health and new product innovations.

Aston has actively participated in 5G research projects and testbed consortiums locally as well as nationally, carried out by strong research teams in the Aston Institute of Photonic Technology, Adaptive Communications Networks Research Group, and the 5G Research Group within AIPT, in collaboration with our industrial partners. Our multi-disciplinary expertise has given us the edge to tackle the challenges presented in the current projects in connection to 5G systems and future activities under WM5G.

This opportunity has, and will continue to strengthen Aston’s research and innovation capability while making significant contributions towards modernising the region's infrastructure for connected communities and support the area’s economic growth.

The 5G Project is an interesting one, as when we think about 5G people immediately think about wireless access; when the complexity for a 5G implementation comes before this stage. To improve our network, we need to research new fibre transmission schemes, broadband amplification and high-speed transceiver technologies to name but a few.”

Professor Sergei Turitsyn, Director of Aston Institute of Photonics Technology

West Midlands 5G Developments

4G has been established within the West Midlands for a number of years, with millions of people and businesses taking advantage of its quick speeds and increased bandwidth. There is a clear Government focus that the UK should be a Global leader in the next generation of internet, aptly named ‘5G’. 5G offers transformational change in terms of speed, capacity, energy efficiency and cost effectiveness whilst cutting delays in signal transmission so that video and pictures can be seen in real time opening up opportunities such as: remote consultations with doctors, operations conducted by consultants in locations miles away from the patient, immediate information on traffic accidents and fires to enable blue light services to send the right teams and equipment to emergencies. After a successful bid, the West Midlands was selected to become the innovative home to the UK’s first multi-city 5G testbed. Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton will become 5G hubs, making the region the first in the UK ready to trial new 5G applications and services on a regional scale.

“We hope that by hosting events like this one, we can strengthen our relationship with local businesses and ensure that everyone within the area benefits from the opportunities that 5G can bring.”

Dr Angela Jeffery, Director of Innovation for Aston University