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5G? UK To Form £35M Next-Next Generation Mobile Broadband Research Centre

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For at least the next few weeks, the UK still doesn't have a 4G data network.

Yes, EE will be launching their exclusive 4G service on 30 October - but until then we're still a generation behind.

Actually, make that two generations.

For while most consumers still struggle to understand why they need a 4G phone, the UK government is preparing for the next-next stage in data connectivity, which could see mobile downloads as fast as 200mb/s.

On Monday they announced £35 million in funding to form a 5G Innovation Centre, as part of a £1 billion investment from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF).

Around £24 million of that is coming from private companies including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde-Schwarz and AIRCOM International.

The centre, which will be run by the University of Surrey, and include a 5G 'trial playground' over five square kilometres around Guildford, should be set up by the end of next year.

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But don't get your hopes up about getting hold of a 5G Galaxy anytime soon - the network wouldn't be rolled out for another 10 years at the earliest.

"Every 10 to 20 years a new generation of mobile cellular standards will come up, historically speaking," Professor Rahim Tafazolli, who runs UoS's Centre for Communication Systems Research, told TechWeekEurope.

"Our proposal is about preparing the research development and standardisation for the fifth generation, which is supposed to be deployed by 2030... Research and standardisation needs to happen now."

Meanwhile the crucial 2.6GHz and 800MHz spectrum auctions to enable networks other than EE to launch 4G in the UK are still set for January 2013, with a rollout anticipated in the second quarter of the year.

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