Bristol hosts new 5G trial

Another day, another 5G trial. This time  it’s Bristol that’s benefited following the decision to run a test network to demonstrate 5G’s coverage of an urban area.

The trial, which is being conducted jointly by the University of Bristol, BT and Nokia, will run over Bristol City Council’s dedicated fibre infrastructure around Bristol’s Millennium square. Although, there are also plans to extend trials to other parts of the city and to Bath.

Over the course of the trial, the project leaders will address a variety of areas including the integration of 5G with Massive MIMO radio access solutions, software-defined networking, network slicing and edge computing nodes. These technologies allow operators to use multiple antennas to boost the capacity of wireless networks, and to split a single physical network into multiple virtual networks, delivering high-capacity services to several vertical sectors.

IoT deployment

The project is being made by possible by funding won from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, by the university’s Smart Internet Lab. It will explore use of 5G in an urban environment using technologies such as Nokia’s AirScale and AirFrame. In particular, it will focus on 5G as an enabler for IoT deployments.

Dimitra Simeonidou, director of the Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol said: “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.”