Bell investing $2.7 million to create advanced 5G research centre at Western University

The carrier says this partnership will turn the campus into a 'living lab'

Montreal-based national carrier Bell has partnered with Western University in London, Ontario to create an advanced 5G research centre.

Bell says this partnership will turn the campus into a ‘living lab’ that will help shape smarter cities and communications systems, boost drone security and better manage business continuity.

The carrier will invest $2.7 million and deploy 5G network equipment and infrastructure throughout the campus. The partnership will also fund research initiatives, training opportunities, and and help advance technological innovations.

“There’s no shortage of the types of things that we can work on together, but the core of it will be industrial IoT applications and mobile edge computing,” Claire Gillies, the president of Bell Mobility, told MobileSyrup in an interview. 

Gillies noted that the laboratory will allow the university to test a multitude of areas, and that it will not only progress Canadian 5G technology, but also have an impact on global 5G learning.

“By using campus as a ‘living lab’ for new technologies like 5G, we’re offering a unique opportunity to ask a full range of important questions across disciplines,” said Sarah Prichard, the acting vice-president of research at Western University, in a press release.

The partnership will allow the university to study and evaluate 5G applications, including smart vehicle and smart city applications, virtual and augmented reality use, industrial Internet of Things applications, machine learning and more.

Bell isn’t the only national carrier to partner with a university to advance 5G research, as Rogers partnered with University of British Columbia in 2018 to build a 5G hub on the campus. The carrier also partnered with University of Waterloo last year to launch a 5G smart campus.