Arqiva and Samsung to trial 5G network in London

FILE PHOTO: People are silhouetted as they pose with mobile devices in front of a screen projected with a Samsung logo, in this illustration picture taken on October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Communications group Arqiva and Samsung Electronics will trial Britain’s first 5G network in London this year, the companies said, with the capability of delivering ultra-fast broadband to mobile devices and potentially autonomous vehicles.

The advent of the fifth generation of mobile telecoms is viewed as essential to expected growth in demand for ever-higher speeds, capacity and reliability, with global operators such as Vodafone, Telefonica and Verizon working with network equipment makers to develop the technology.

Arqiva, which provides TV broadcast and mobile infrastructure, said the fixed wireless access network would operate in its own 28GHz band spectrum using Samsung’s 5G base stations and equipment installed in premises in central London.

“Over time, smarter network infrastructure and an enhanced ability to support exponential scale for connectivity will open the doors to further applications across a variety of markets such as IoT (Internet of Things), industrial applications and the full promise of autonomous vehicles,” Arqiva Chief Executive Simon Beresford-Wylie said on Friday.

Samsung has already undertaken some early tests of the technology on its campus in South Korea, and mobile operators and vendors have announced 5G trials in countries ranging from the United States to Japan.

Arqiva, which counts the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Macquarie as investors, is considering a stock market listing and is seeking new investors, sources said this month.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by David Goodman