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New vision of £35 million 5G research centre at the University of Surrey revealed

30 April 2013

The design for the world’s first centre for research into the next stage of mobile technology at the University of Surrey has been revealed by the newly appointed architects.

Scott Tallon Walker architects have won the competition to create the 5G Innovation Centre focussed on 5G networking.

It will mean that the university campus becomes the first place in the world to test 5G technology by using lampposts as mobile signal base stations around the campus to create a new ‘test-bed’ that will cover an area of four kilometres for the next generation of mobile technology.

5G is the fifth generation of mobile cellular systems. 3G which is currently in use in the UK as the country transitions to 4G focuses, on speed. 5G’s focus is on network capacity, providing more capacity with lower power consumption.  It’s estimated that 5G will be in use in about eight years’ time.

The new centre, expected to be completed by the end of January 2015, will house the UK’s largest academic research centre for mobile communications with 130 researchers and around 90 PhD students.

When built the scheme will achieve an ‘Excellent’ environmental rating under a leading environmental standard called BREAM (Building Research Establishment Assessment Method) which sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance.

It encourages designers, clients and others to think about low carbon and low impact design, minimising the energy demands created by a building before considering energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.

The funding for the project comes from a variety of sources including the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) government and a range of corporate sponsors from the mobile communications industry.

Peter Dudley, Scott Tallon Walker’s Director of Science and Technology, said: “We see the new centre at the University of Surrey as a place where some of the finest minds in mobile communications from around the world will be sharing their visionary ideas.

“The Scott Tallon Walker practice is obviously delighted to have won such a prestigious competition but my colleagues working on the project are equally excited as they really want to see their ideas for this creative community in action.”

Professor Rahim Tafazolli, the Director for the new centre at the University, said: “It’s an exciting vision of what promises to be a very important centre for not only the University but for the whole of the UK and beyond.

“The designs reflect our aim of being at the very forefront of technology in a fast-moving and interconnected world.”

The research centre will accommodate both the university’s own researchers and those of its industry partners who will come to the university. 


From the University of Surrey Press Office, April 2013 

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