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The launch of the next generation of mobile broadband has moved a step closer, with the announcement of a new centre that will bring together mobile network operators, telecoms equipment makers and researchers to develop 5G services.

According to industry regulator Ofcom, the government’s £35 million 5G Innovation Centre will be located at the University of Surrey, and is due to be operational some time in the first quarter of 2015.

Work at the new centre will focus on developing a 5G "test bed", which will enable staff to test the innovative new technology in a real-world environment.

Steve Unger, Chief Technology Officer at Ofcom, said the new initiative will help to ensure that the UK becomes a "global leader" in developing a roadmap towards 5G.

"It’s vital that Ofcom understands future technology evolution, which will help shape our strategy for managing radio spectrum in the years ahead," he added.

Although it will be some time before the centre is operational, the industry regulator estimates that the 700MHz radio spectrum that will be used by 5G mobile broadband customers will not be ready until 2018 at the earliest, providing plenty of time to iron out any kinks in development.

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