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Ericsson extends 5G mobile research programme across Europe

Friday, September 18th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Ericsson is to expand its 5G research and development (R&D) programme to include new partners across Europe.

The 5G for Europe programme will bring together major industrial companies, the public sector and universities to work on the technology.

The announcement came just days after the UK-based 5G Innovation Centre was officially opened at the University of Surrey.

A fifth generation network (5G) is expected to reach commercial mobile networks around 2020, with some experts predicting it will deliver data transfer rates 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

Ericsson, which previously announced it will collaborate with King’s College London on research into 5G, has been a champion of the technology.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk at technology conference International CES in January, Ramneek Bali, a technical solutions manager at the company, said a 5G mobile network would be the platform that connected "everything, anywhere".

It will be a 5G network that enables developments like connected devices and cars to watching TV on mobile devices, Mr Bali said.

Ericsson said the 5G for Europe programme will focus on research and innovation, as well as creating pilot projects for possible 5G solutions in industries including transport, utilities, public safety and retail.

It will also create innovation projects that enable smaller companies to co-operate with a wide range of industry players, to interact with academia, and to secure early and affordable technology access.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, said: “5G is the next step in the evolution of mobile communication and will be a fundamental enabler of the networked society.

'Technology leadership'

“However, Ericsson needs to work together with industries to understand their specific network requirements in order to realise the full benefits of 5G technologies.

“By expanding our 5G programme to include major partners across Europe, we will gain valuable insights that will enable industries to digitalise effectively, to create new value and to strengthen the competitive position of European industry.”

The programme's academic and research partners include major technical universities such as Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa; Technische Universität Dresden; Universidad Carlos III of Madrid; IMDEA Networks Institute, Madrid; and King’s College London.

Industry partners include wiseSense, Weiss Robotics and MyOmega System Technology in Germany and Zucchetti Centro Sistemi in Italy.

Ericsson has also announced the extension of its wi-fi calling service to include wi-fi-only devices such as tablets and laptops.

The service allows users to make or receive voice calls over a wi-fi connection.

Anders Olin, head of product area network functions at Ericsson, said: “While natively integrated wi-fi calling in smartphones has been commercially available for some time, both consumers and operators can benefit from extending this functionality to multiple devices.

“We are excited to launch wi-fi calling for multi-device, which is a clear example of how Ericsson’s technology leadership is helping to create differentiated user experiences.”

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