University of Bristol, BT and Nokia have launched a joint research programme to test and validate smart urban applications over 5G mobile networks in Bristol.
The trio will carry out the programme by deploying a live 5G-based proof of concept with a test network being deployed over the fibre infrastructure of the Bristol City Council around the city’s Millennium Square. It will use research expertise from the university and combine Nokia’s 5G network solutions and radio access points with BT’s spectrum.
The test network will be connected to the smart city platform ‘Bristol Is Open’. It will be supported by the “We The Curious” science centre, which will facilitate demonstrations of the technology to the public.
Recently, the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab received funding from the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme’ to create the ‘5GUK Test Networks’.
University of Bristol Smart Internet lab director and Bristol Is Open chief scientific officer Dimitra Simeonidou said: “Recently announced as the UK’s top ‘Smart City’, Bristol is well placed to conduct this pioneering work that will use innovative network and wireless technologies that will help improve services, businesses and infrastructure in our cities and region.
“We have long-standing relationships with both the BT Labs and Nokia’s Bell Labs Research, and with this new collaboration we are looking forward to demonstrating the very significant advances resulting from introducing 5G mobile technology.”
In the next few months, the test network is expected to help in exploring and validating the feasibility of deploying a 5G architecture that would incorporate available technologies with Massive MIMO radio access solutions, network slicing, edge computing nodes functionalities, software-defined networking and other innovations.
According to the University of Bristol, these technologies enable operators with an option to use many antennas to enhance the capacity of wireless networks.
Nokia UK&I CEO Cormac Whelan said: “The importance of applying 5G in the real world and showing what the combination of new and existing technologies can do for people, is not to be underestimated.
“As with all new technology, we need to explore its capabilities and demonstrate how it could benefit enterprises and consumers.”