Today, the University of Surrey, with support from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport hosted a delegation led by Zhuang Rongwen, Vice-Minister, Cybersecurity Administration of China who visited the 5G Innovation Centre, Europe's largest academic research centre dedicated to the development of the next generation of mobile and wireless communications.
The forty-strong delegation included representatives from leading Chinese companies including Baidu and Tencent. Alongside the Minister they were shown the latest technical demonstrations from the Centre, exploring how ties between the UK and China are progressing new technologies. The demonstrations included pioneering wireless technology performing mobile streaming of ultra-high definition video, developed in partnership with Huawei, BBC R&D and the 5GIC.
Another key demonstration showed how a new (5G-Sparse Coding Multiple Access) radio waveform can support at least 300% more IoT (Internet-of-Things) devices than would be possible with 4G.
Keith Robson, Chief Operating Officer, 5GIC said, "Global collaboration is at the heart of 5GIC, working with industry, academia and bodies across the world to enable the delivery of one global 5G standard. There is immense potential for British companies and Universities to partner with their counterparts in China to take advantage of this rapidly rising global market in internet-of things applications. Not only will this collaborative approach enable different innovation cultures to spark creatively off one another, but it will ensure all new applications are developed from a global perspective.
"This however would also include differentiating offers with local content, apps and language support. A number of national champions previously unknown on the global stage have already had much success with this strategy. Xiaomi is the most notable internationally, with strong sales growth in China allowing the company to now become the third largest smartphone maker globally behind Samsung and Apple."
The visit comes as Chinese President Xi Jinping begins talks with UK Prime Minister David Cameron to cement economic ties between the two countries. The next generation mobile and wireless connectivity system, 5G has been recognised as a fundamental pillar of future growth and innovation. The EU and China recently signed an agreement that provides for joint-research and coordinated efforts to standardise 5G.
The 5GIC is funded by £12 million from HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) and over £68 million co-investment from the Centre's industry and regional partners, including close ties with Chinese partners, Huawei.