08 January 2018
King's achieves first successful 5G test in the UK
King's College London collaborates with Vodafone and Ericsson to carry out first UK 5G test
King’s College London made history by achieving the UK’s first successful 5G test that is independent of existing 4G technology. Using a prototype device in a densely populated central London location, King’s academics led by Professor Mischa Dohler (N&MS) alongside Vodafone and Swedish telecoms company, Ericsson, trialled cutting-edge technology that uses multiple antennae to send and receive data.
During the trial, engineers tested key 5G technologies including the extensive use of Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output). This equipment uses multiple antennae to send and receive data more efficiently in crowded areas where vast numbers of people try to connect at the same time. It is hoped that the improved technology will allow smartphones to reach data speeds in excess of 500 megabits per second, with data transmission expected to be around 10 times faster than 4G.
The trial builds on King’s commitment to developing 5G technology, which is backed by the UK government’s £16 million 5G test network. Later this year King’s College London, the University of Bristol and the University of Surrey will join together to deliver a full end-to-end test of 5G capability in the UK.
Professor Mischa Dohler said, ‘London is the perfect test base because of its urban density. Testing certain parameters of the technology in a city such as London is much closer to the truth of a future 5G system than, for example, a smaller city location or a suburban or rural site.’