UK and German researchers to collaborate on developing 5G connections

Out-Law News | 11 Mar 2014 | 10:38 am | 1 min. read

Universities in the UK and Germany are to collaborate in an effort to develop new '5G' mobile wireless internet technology.

UK prime minister David Cameron announced that King’s College University in London, the University of Surrey and the University of Dresden will work on 5G research together in a speech at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover.

"With 4G, an 800 megabyte movie takes around 40 seconds to download; with 5G that would be cut to one second," Cameron said. "This is a prize that researchers all over the world are going for and so I am delighted to announce a new collaboration, between the University of Dresden, King’s College University in London and the University of Surrey. Three world-leading universities working on 5G hand in hand – that is something to be truly excited about."

In his speech, Cameron also announced funding for research into how to put the 'internet of things' (IoTs) into practice. The concept of the IoTs is a term given to the increasing automatic communication between devices and tags that form complex networks around citizens.

In practice it may mean the interconnection between electricity meters and the grid in developments around smarter energy consumption, digital health initiatives such as "health monitors that keep an eye on your heart rate", and "even a fridge that can order you milk when it notices you are getting low", Cameron said.

"I see the internet of things as a huge transformative development, a way of boosting productivity, of keeping us healthier, making transport more efficient, reducing energy needs, tackling climate change," Cameron said. "We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution and I want us – the UK and Germany – to lead it."

"We need the ideas to turn the internet of things from a slogan to a fact. So I have personally tasked the government’s chief scientific adviser to explore what more we must do in this area. We’re making available £73 million of funding to put the boosters under research. And I can announce today that we are launching a new European internet of things grant fund – valued at up to £1 million for companies that are grabbing these new opportunities," he said.

Cameron said that the implementation of a new spectrum strategy in the UK would help deliver the "infrastructure" necessary to allow the IoTs concept to be developed into practice.

"We aim to double the economic benefits of spectrum to UK companies and consumers from roughly £50 billion today, to £100 billion in 2025," Cameron said. "We’ll do this by allowing new applications to come online, new kinds of mobile technologies to be used, more data usage to be enjoyed and greater broadcasting services to be made available."