Ericsson to create internet we can touch


Teaming with King’s College London to realise the potential of 5G, including the creation of tactile internet

Ericsson and King’s College London have today stated they are joining in a research project to create an internet that users can literally touch, called the tactile internet.

The pair have announced collaboration on 5G research that will address both technical implications and societal challenges towards the development of a tactile internet.

Professor Mischa Dohler, head of King’s College London’s centre for telecommunications research in the department of informatics, said: “Currently we can see and hear through the internet, but we cannot touch; we have a vision to create the tactile internet, where we would be able to touch through the medium of the internet.”

Research activities and experimentation will have specific focus on smart sustainable cities applications, an area in which King’s College London has a global leadership position.

5G is expected to begin its commercial rollout in 2020, by which time Ericsson believes that there will be up to 50 billion connected devices in the world, mainly in machine to machine (M2M) communication. 5G networks will enable a wide variety of use cases such as evolved mobile broadband services, a range of M2M communication and media distribution.

Experimental activities will include the set up of a 5G tactile internet lab with test bed capabilities, enabling the easy creation, testing and real time adaptation radio technology in software. This will occur both in devices and remotely as part of Cloud RAN experimentation. An Ericsson King’s College London 5G tactile internet showroom will showcase developed prototypes and connect to real time live test beds in London and globally.

Dohler added: “In addition to groundbreaking telecommunications paradigms, computer science, such as innovative artificial intelligence and edge-cloud technologies, and robotics, such as novel edge-haptics, will be used to pioneer the tactile internet, which is one of many opportunities that 5G will enable.”
The collaboration will work in harmony with Ericsson’s cooperation with the Technical University of Dresden in Germany and build on other leading European research institute and university collaborations on 5G such as the Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology and Lund University in Sweden.

Valter D’Avino, Ericsson head of region western and central Europe, said: “The collaboration with King’s College London will accelerate the momentum around smart cities, the Internet of Things and evolved industries powered by 5G in UK and underscores Ericsson’s ongoing commitment to innovate in Europe and develop 5G with relevant partners as the basis of a networked society and of digitised economies in the next decades.”

The research outputs of King’s College London’s Department of Informatics were rated in the top 10 in Britain in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), and the Department is particularly strong in artificial intelligence and telecommunications.

Ericsson has recently announced a number of cooperations with leading European research institutes and universities on 5G such as the Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology and Lund University.

Ericsson is also leading the EU project, Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society (METIS), and been a key contributor to the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP), in which vendors, operators and players from industries such as the automotive, utilities and automation sectors are working closely together.



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