NEWS14 October 2020

Surrey builds the first UK-made end-to-end 5G system

The University of Surrey has revealed that it has created an end-to-end 5G system with all components manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Together with AWGT, a UK-based digital and mobile engineering company, Surrey’s world-renowned 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) has created a private 5G system that could help secure the country’s communications network and thereby strengthen and safeguard the UK’s digital economy.

Critical to the system is the use of a portable device – the size of a desktop printer – called the 5G CrowdCell, which is manufactured in the UK by Lime Microsystems, a member of Surrey Research Park’s incubation hub, SETsquared.

Once connected to a network, the 5G CrowdCell uses software defined radio technology based on Lime’s field programmable RF chipsets that allows coding to perform tasks that are usually reserved for sophisticated and expensive hardware. Coupled with open-source APIs (application programming interface), the 5G CrowdCell can be configured and updated – therefore future-proofing the system for technologies to come.

Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of the University of Surrey’s Institute for Communication Systems and 5GIC, said: “This achievement is testimony to the UK’s engineering capability and knowledge, and emphasises that this nation can play a vital role in the developing global telecoms ecosystem.”

Abbey Alidoosti, Chief Executive of AWGT, said: “We are excited to work alongside internationally leading organisations such as the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre and Lime Microsystems to integrate a unique system that will benefit UK industry and showcase UK engineering capabilities.”

Dr Ebrahim Bushehri, CEO and co-founder of Lime Microsystems, said: “There has been significant research and development in the UK covering the key aspects of 5G networks. The work of 5GIC and AWGT, coupled with Lime’s radio technology, provides a leading-edge solution that capitalises on this visionary investment.”