By Caribbean News Global
LONDON, England – Universities and telecoms firms have been invited to apply for up to £25 million to research and develop the next generation of 5G and 6G network equipment as part of new government plans to unleash innovation in the sector, says the department for digital, culture, media and sport.
“The Future Open Networks Research Challenge will enable academics and the industry to conduct early-stage research into open and interoperable telecoms solutions, such as Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), for use in 5G and future networks such as 6G. The government is accelerating the development of this technology – which allows operators to mix and match equipment rather than relying on a single supplier when building or maintaining networks – as part of its £250 million Open Networks R&D Fund. It aims to build more secure and resilient broadband and mobile infrastructure by boosting competition and innovation within the telecoms supply chain.”
New government plans to fire up innovation in 5G and 6G comes as £10 million has been awarded to launch the UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN), a new body dedicated to boosting creativity in the country’s telecoms supply chain.
“The UKTIN will act as an information and ideas hub for industry and academics looking to access funding or R&D testing facilities and opportunities to collaborate on developing new mobile and broadband technology. Digital Catapult, CW (Cambridge Wireless), University of Bristol and West Midlands 5G are announced today as the winners of the competition to set up and oversee the network,” said the government department.
In a further boost to the industry, the UK will also invest £1.6 million in a joint-funded £3.6 million competition with the Republic of Korea to collaborate on a world-first R&D project to accelerate the development of Open RAN technology.
“Each country will fund a group of several companies to work together to accelerate the development of technical solutions to improve power efficiency in Open RAN networks. Power consumption is a major operating cost, so the work will support wider adoption of Open RAN technologies, reduce operating costs and support net zero ambitions.”
Digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman, said:
“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. It’s why we’re investing millions and partnering with international allies to unleash innovation and develop new ways to make these networks more secure, resilient and less reliant on a handful of suppliers.”