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University of Sunderland partners with BAI for 5G, IoT research

The university will become one of the UK's first 5G universities and will work with Sunderland City Council on smart city integration

A University of Sunderland campus, with students milling round a large wood and glass building

BAI Communications, the University of Sunderland and Sunderland City Council have today announced a new partnership, to boost research in areas such as 5G, roll out advanced wireless technologies on campus and connect it to Sunderland's smart city framework.

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As a part of the project, the university will receive a 5G test lab at its Sir Tom Cowie campus at St Peter’s. Specialist teaching environments and cutting-edge insight into this rapidly developing field will greatly support research efforts and make the university one of the first 5G-enabled universities in the UK.

An internet of things (IoT) network will also be introduced to the university, expected to improve efficiency for systems such as estate management whilst providing students with yet more research opportunities. 

It is hoped that access to 5G and IoT will position students well for opportunities within local sectors such as healthcare and manufacturing. Teaching and research staff will also benefit from the employment and research opportunities, as well as from the improvement of existing systems.

An ultra-fast public access Wi-Fi network will also be installed across the campus. This is an extension of BAI’s existing partnership with Sunderland City Council and will run from Sunderland city centre out to campus, as part of its smart city rollout.

The Stadium of Light, home to Sunderland Association Football Club, is expected to benefit from the improvements to wireless infrastructure, bringing the benefits of technological development to fans and the club.

Together, BAI and Sunderland City Council have set a target of creating the UK’s leading smart city by 2030. Today’s announcement is yet another milestone in this journey and one that will have lasting benefits for the North East region. 

“We’re immensely proud of the work we are doing in Sunderland to help it become one of the UK’s leading smart cities, and our new partnership will help further unleash its potential,” said Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI Communications UK.

“Quality education has the power to transform lives and our work with the University of Sunderland will help it to become a leading 5G university, hugely enhancing campus services for students and staff, and creating new research and employment opportunities for the local population. 

“5G and IoT technologies are crucial growth areas which will be central in the digital economies of the future, and they have limitless potential to enhance Sunderland City Council’s public services and to enable local businesses to innovate and scale up.”

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