A city in southwestern England became the first to host an urban, end-to-end 5G network over the weekend, university researchers and company officials said.
The University of Bristol held the Layered Realities Weekend 5G Showcase in the city’s downtown Millennium Square, a two-day program that included demonstrations of 5G systems, smart city safety technology and a transmission to a connected autonomous vehicle.
The 5G test-bed, which allowed the public to interact with 5G in an urban space for the first time, also included a virtual reality dance program, 3D-like projections and a guided tour of “a walk through time.” Cyclists wearing 360-degree cameras — which streamed footage to a Mobile Edge Computing terminal or cloud in real-time — traveled throughout the square during the event.
The event also showcased sharing of wireless channels, along with how light could be used to “transmit high-speed, secure mobile data without the use of radio frequencies.” Officials said the event would be critical to enabling more widespread deployment of 5G technology in the U.K. in coming years.
“As 5G comes ever-closer to commercial reality, the opportunity to contribute to a ‘real world’ test of the technology like this in Bristol is invaluable,” Cormac Whelan, Nokia’s chief executive in the U.K. and Ireland, said in a statement.
In addition to Nokia, Bristol researchers partnered with carrier BT and U.K. tech companies CCSL, Zeetta Networks and pureLiFi on the project, which was funded by a U.K. government initiative.
San Jose tech company Xilinx also touted the use of its silicon technology by the university’s Smart Internet Lab.
“Central to our architecture has been flexibility and programmability of the network edge, including traffic aggregation and computing, as well as disaggregation of hardware hosted network functions across the infrastructure,” said Smart Internet Lab Director Dimitra Simeonidou.