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Bristol university looks for Chinese partners for 5G ventures

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-11 09:41
Staff of a 5G technology company demonstrate long-distance assisted autonomous vehicle driving to visitors at the Big Data Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, on May 26. [Photo/Xinhua]

The University of Bristol is looking for Chinese partners to set up joint programs for the fifth-generation of wireless network technology as China is on course to be at the forefront in the 5G race globally.

Andrew Nix, dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the university, said China is now at the pinnacle in many areas of 5G, actively involving in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project process, to drive the 5G research and development.

"We would like to repeat some of our experiments from Bristol here in China, seeking to find a partner city," Nix said. "We can have funded activities in Bristol and funded activities in China. And then we can compare experiments and results so that we can both produce more developed, more appropriate, more efficient services for the future."

According to him, the university will look at educational and research collaborations, such as staff and student exchange as well as PhD programs.

The high-speed 5G technology is expected to revolutionize the tech world in the near future, as the superfast broadband internet access technology will be able to provide more than 10 times data transmission rate of 4G.

In the 5G era, higher reliability and lower latency (that is, the gap between transmission and reception) can be realized, making the internet of things more effective. It will take on tasks that are impossible in the 4G era, such as overseeing self-driving cars.

Nix said the application of 5G technology will take shape in the next two to three years, and wide application of 5G is conceivable in the next five to 10 years.

"The most important application scenarios of 5G include transportation and healthcare," he said. "The academics should partner closely with industry. To seek a deep and truly meaningful collaboration, the academics need to fully open up and build up the trust."

Hugh Brady, vice-chancellor and president of the University of Bristol, said, "According to the UN's latest report, another 2.5 billion people will live in cities worldwide by 2050, with many of those in China, and only through strong research collaboration can we make the urgent breakthroughs we need."

Over the past five years, China's urbanization rate has risen from 52.6 percent to 58.5 percent, according to the 2018 Government Work Report. The report noted this trend will continue-and rapid urbanization creates increasingly crowded environments and scarce resources.

"Effective wireless communications will be essential to deliver the best services for society and business in emerging smart cities," said Yi Zhiling, chief scientist for wireless technologies at the China Mobile Research Institute.

The university is working with leading Chinese technology and communications companies including China Mobile Communications Corp and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to jointly develop scalable solutions that will enable Chinese cities to grow in smart and sustainable ways.

Conducting pioneering research into 5G capabilities, the university is driving real-world research-including the city of Bristol-wide 5G testbed-leading to major advances and models for increasingly interconnected and resource-efficient cities.

And Bristol has been named Global Smart City at an industry association's 2018 Global Mobile Awards, Nix said.

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