Image: Warwick Media Library

University of Warwick to be UK’s first 5G university campus

The University of Warwick is the UK’s first public 5G University campus, after a collaboration with BT, who installed the network. 

BT, the University and Warwickshire County Council have collaborated “to bring 5G innovation and co-development to the University campus and the wider region”. It is hoped that the new technology will support the regional economy’s recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

The campus 5G network will bring “ultrafast 5G mobile coverage” to students, staff, visitors and the surrounding areas through the EE mobile network. 

The installation marks the first phase of a collaboration between BT and the University “to accelerate the co-creation of 5G-led capabilities within the campus and for industries across the UK”. 

Fotis Karonis, CTIO of BT’s Enterprise unit, said: “The University of Warwick is renowned for its world-leading research and innovation, so its status as the first public 5G connected university campus in the country is very fitting. 

“With the 5G network now live across the entire campus, we’re gearing up to accelerate the co-creation of innovative 5G use cases in a partnership with University of Warwick. This will not only benefit its faculty, student experience and academic R&D, but will also shape 5G learning and co-creation for key business industries across the UK.”

David Plumb, the University of Warwick’s Chief Innovation Officer, said: “This powerful innovation alliance with BT gives Warwick the advantage of being an early adopter of 5G technology with a significant partner. 

With the 5G network now live across the entire campus, we’re gearing up to accelerate the co-creation of innovative 5G use cases in a partnership with University of Warwick

– Fotis Karonis

“Our public 5G connected campus will: support new areas of research; enable new teaching technologies; help us to support even more regional businesses; and it will add to students’ campus experience be it in teaching, esports or simply through an enhanced performance on mobile devices.”

BT and the University are already working on activities across the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the School of Engineering and Warwick Medical School to use 5G technology for self-driving cars and use in the healthcare sector, among others. 

The University has said that the technology will be extended “to the University’s Creative and Digital Communities incubator”, which will support companies working with the University and those in Leamington Spa, including the ‘Silicon Spa’ games industry. 

Councillor Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s portfolio holder for finance and property, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of this collaboration and support the piloting of 5G infrastructure. It enhances the county’s offer as a centre of cutting-edge technology which is key to attracting the inward investment that will drive our future economic growth.

“I’m particularly pleased to see the coverage extending to Silicon Spa area in Leamington. This will be a real boost to the cluster of gaming companies based there which make such a strong contribution to the county’s economy and which are a major employer of young people, whose employment prospects have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

EE recently added 5G to 12 new towns and cities across the country, including service in Warwick. 

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