Mobile connectivity is vital for modern society, underpinning a wide range of commercial and societal uses. 5G systems, which provide significant improvements in performance over 4G systems, are now being deployed with an expected market value of £500 billion by 2030. A key factor in acquiring parts of this market is the ability to enter the 5G market early with innovative offerings, and to cut operational costs through standardised solutions.
The improved performance of 5G systems was achieved through a departure from legacy design principles, some of which King’s contributed to through their pioneering research in the area. Specifically, King’s pioneered and contributed to i) decoupled up and downlinks; ii) fixed-mobile convergence; iii) application-centric edge-cloud design; and iv) software-enabled network slicing.
King’s research has enabled a departure from legacy protocol and architecture design principles with significant impact on global telecoms industries and standards, including:
• 3GPP (global telecommunications standards body, 700 industry members): King’s provided standards-essential contributions to two standards on converged 5G architectures, which provide significant benefits in terms of customer experience and affects all network and broadband providers globally.
• GSMA (global operator alliance with 750 operator members): King’s introduced cost-saving Generic 5G Slice Templates, initially included in the de facto industry guidebook and which are now being adopted by most major telecoms operators globally.
• King’s played an instrumental role in gauging early 5G architecture capabilities and translating them into viable societal use cases covering health, education and gaming, and the arts and culture. These were then documented on Ericsson’s website and led to significant media coverage. Notably outlets such as CNN, BBC, Wired, and FT have all continuously reported on this work.