The UK government is providing investments as high as PS25m to help fund research and development in 5G and 6G future equipment for networks.
In the context the the Future Open Networks Research Challenge Universities and businesses can apply for grants to create “open and interoperable” tech for telecoms.
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Matt Warman, digital infrastructure minister, stated: “The seamless connectivity and blistering speeds of 5G and then 6G will power a tech revolution which will enrich people’s lives and fire up productivity across the economy.”
The money will be sourced through the PS250m Open Networks Research and Development Fund. The goal of the fund is to boost competition in the mobile and broadband infrastructure industry.
Open RAN aims to diversify the telecommunications network by making equipment interoperable instead of relying solely on one supplier.
The announcement follows the launch of UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN) that is responsible for “boosting creativity” in the telecoms supply chain. The goal is to be in operation in September.
It will also provide details to industry professionals regarding funding, R&D testing facilities, and collaboration opportunities.
Digital Catapult, CW (Cambridge Wireless), University of Bristol and West Midlands 5G (WM5G) are all set to establish and manage UKTIN.
The government also announced the investment of PS1.6m together with Korea Republic of Korea in a jointly-funded PS3.6m contest for the R&D project to create Open RAN technology.
“I’m pleased to hear that WM5G and the consortium have won the tender to lead on the creation of the UK Telecoms Innovation Network – building on WM5G’s formidable track record having already helped to establish the West Midlands as the best connected 5G region in the UK.”
The boost in funding is the latest step to improve Britain’s network of 5G. This month, a brand-new accelerator to support 5G as well as IoT (internet of things) startups go live in Sunderland. In May, BT and Ericsson joined forces to start providing private 5G networks to UK companies.