UK’s first national 6G radio systems research facility to be established at University of Sheffield

After winning a major new equipment grant, a new facility specialising in ground-breaking 6G research will be established at the University of Sheffield

Stock image of a hand pointing at the word '6G'
  • New facility will enable cutting edge research into 6G radio systems.
  • The equipment grant will create a national research facility, accessible to industry and academia to undertake research
  • Novel approach to measurements of over-the-air transmissions of 6G will place the facility at the forefront of global 6G research

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have won a major strategic equipment grant funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish the UK’s first national 6G radio systems research facility.

The UKRI National 6G Radio Systems Facility will provide the UK with world class capabilities in 6G radio research enabling our industrial partners and academic users based both in the UK and overseas to develop globally leading 6G solutions. The original proposal received unprecedented support from 42 companies and academic institutions with strong interests in 6G. 

The facility will establish a vibrant 6G radio systems research community in the UK strengthening research and development capabilities as 6G rolls out. As a national research facility, the equipment will be available to industry and academia for use in their research and development work.

Professor O’Farrell who will direct the new facility said “I’m delighted to be leading this important initiative, which will enable industry and academia to undertake significant 6G research and development work. 6G is now an important focus for UK universities and telecommunications industry, and this facility will enable them to compete on a global scale.”   

“I look forward to seeing the facility strengthen the UK telecoms capability in 6G research and development by establishing a solid foundation for experimentally based 6G radio systems research.”

Professor Tim O'Farrell in a lab
Professor Timothy O'Farrell

The facility will enable cutting edge research into many aspects of 6G radio systems including candidate waveforms, transmitter and receiver circuits, digital acquisition and signal processing, antenna arrays and over-the-air (OTA) propagation measurements. It will be capable of supporting research into 6G radio systems spanning all of the operating frequency bands (from sub-6GHz to sub-THz). This includes the 6G pioneering band, at 220GHz. 

Importantly, the equipment will support multiple over-the-air transmissions at once, enabling research into novel advanced radio systems. This cutting-edge set up will place the facility at the forefront of global research into 6G radio systems.

The facility will be straightforward to use, yet versatile, and will have the capability to enable a very broad range of novel research to support the delivery of future 6G services, taking society closer to realising immersive communications services delivered over energy efficient infrastructure.

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