AWTG Leads Monumental Culmination of The Flex-5G Project

April 26, 2024 – The University of Surrey’s prestigious 5G/6G Innovation Centre was the venue for the anticipated closure event of the groundbreaking Flex-5G Project. This marked a significant milestone, bringing together the collaborative efforts of key industry partners including AWTG, Lime Microsystems, Vodafone, Zain, EBTIC, O2, Commscope, Viavi, Cambridgeshire County Council, AWS, and the academic expertise of the University of Surrey. 

The Flex-5G Project has been a beacon of innovation, setting core objectives aimed at fostering collaboration and integration, enhancing modularity and diversification, and boosting mobile network efficiency. The closure event was not just a commemoration but also a comprehensive showcase of the project’s achievements and contributions to the industry of 5G and beyond. 

Among the distinguished guests, the event welcomed attendees from DSIT (Department for Science, Innovation & Technology), including prominent figures such as Keith Bullock – FNP Programme Director, along with his colleagues Pete Compton, Michael Leon, David Pedley, Dejan Bojic, Yemi Ojo, Will McKinnon, Molly Bridge, Stephen Clark, Hickey Maeve and Vicki DiBlasi who have been instrumental in the project’s progression. 

Attendees of the Flex-5G Closing Event at University of Surrey

Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Founding Director of the 6G and 5G Innovation Centre kicked off the proceedings, followed by Mike Carter, AWTG Director of Public Networks, with an engaging presentation on the journey of the Flex-5G project. This set the stage for a series of in-depth discussions, with Lime Microsystems CEO, Dr. Ebrahim Bushehri, and Dr. Daniel Shannon from Vodafone exploring the future roadmap for Network-in-a-box and Software Defined Radio (SDR).   

University of Surrey’s very own Dr. Konstantinos Nikitopoulos, Dr. Chuan Foh, and Dr. Riccardo Pozza, alongside Volker Ricker from Commscope, dived deep into the solution, offering insights into higher layer development, the Near Real-time RIC, and the lessons learned from the project. The day also saw practical demonstrations, including one for Massive MIMO innovations and the exploration of novel algorithms. 

Following this, AWTG’s experts, Dr. Jue Cao, Julian Garrett and Dr. Sanaz Soltani, unveiled the architectural developments around the SMO, NonRT RIC and rApps and the strategic approach towards Flex-5G security, respectively. 

The culmination of the event featured demonstrations by AWTG, Mike Carter then led a celebration of the project’s innovative outcomes and achievements, as well as a focus on Project Lessons Learned, Business Benefits and Next Steps. It was a moment of reflection and pride, as attendees looked back on the Flex-5G Project’s contributions to industry events and the opportunity to demonstrate its innovative solutions to Sir John Whittingdale OBE MP, amplifying the project’s visibility and potential impact on the UK’s digital infrastructure landscape. 

The closure event concluded with a statement from Keith Bullock, headlining the successes, the learned lessons, and the promising horizon for the technologies and methodologies developed under the Flex-5G banner. 

Flex-5G stands as a testament to what can be achieved through collaborative innovation, promising a future where mobile networks are more modular, diversified, and efficient, heralding a new era for 5G and beyond. 

Keith Bullock, DSIT’s FNP Programme Director said “Our hope with these projects is always to advance and inform diversification policy. Flex-5G has done both by developing a UK OpenRAN capability with a compact 5G standalone product that works over a full range of frequencies and which embodies real advances in applying MIMO approaches to OpenRAN. It shows how a well-constructed consortium of diverse organisations can simultaneously advance their own interests and those of its government sponsors.”  

Abbey Alidoosti, AWTG’s CEO said “With an exceptional consortium, we’ve achieved the impossible. Flex-5G product is now poised for global commercialisation, not only in the UK but across diverse industries worldwide.”

Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Founding Director of the 6G and 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey said Flex-5G is an excellent example of Industry-Academia collaboration for impactful innovation.” 

Dr. Ebrahim Bushehri, Lime Mircosystems’ CEO saidFlex-5G project outcome is a significant milestone in the evolution of a truly open 5G technology, paving the way for a flexible and efficient network infrastructure.”