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The purpose of the visit was to learn more about how 5GIC is helping the UK take the lead in the global 5G race. In particular, the Minister was keen to understand the differences between 4G and 5G – especially use cases where only 5G can support.
The Minister had the opportunity to see hands-on demonstrations of 5G technology and the potential it has to transform homes and cities by using artificial intelligence, improve the way care providers monitor conditions such as dementia and how 5G can take the virtual reality experience to another level. The Minister also saw demonstrations of 5G-controlled wireless robots with high reliability and low latency of less than 2 milliseconds, along with examples of drones for people safety and security.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: "The 5G Innovation Centre is playing a key role to help ensure the UK is fit for a 5G future. It’s been truly inspiring to be shown around this hotbed of 5G activity and see first-hand some of the amazing benefits that 5G will deliver for the economy and wider society."
Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director and Founder of the 5GIC at the University of Surrey, said: “We were pleased to welcome the Minister, who has been a strong and consistent voice of support for our Centre. We had the opportunity to show the Minister the progress we have made with our 5G network technology and discuss how these innovative and industry leading projects could be the foundation for the country’s success for years to come.”
The University of Surrey is also working closely with three projects from the Government’s £25m 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme, which aims to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in the development of 5G technology.
The testbeds focus on delivering real-world benefits from 5G technology in important sectors of the UK economy. This includes improving connectivity for rural communities; increasing industrial productivity using robotics, big data analytics and Augmented Reality (AR); and the development of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs).