Chloe Shakesby

Government announces £30m funding for development of new 5G technology

The government has today announced that it is putting £30m towards the development of new technology for 5G mobile networks.

The funding, announced today (July 2), is part of the government’s 5G Diversification Strategy, and will see money allocated to research and development projects across the country.

The projects, which will be pitched in the form of a competition for the funding, will accelerate the adoption of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), which allows equipment from more than one supplier to be used in 5G networks.

This comes less than a month after the government invested £1m in the creation of a new Open RAN development lab.

Matt Warman, digital infrastructure minister, commented: “This competition aims to get some of our most creative minds helping the UK safely and securely deliver the amazing benefits of 5G for people and businesses.

“It is a major part of our plans to harness the country’s tech prowess, open up the telecoms market, and create new jobs and investment as we build back better from the pandemic.”

Matthew Evans, director of markets, techUK, said: “Today’s announcement is another positive step in driving forward the UK’s telecoms diversification agenda, with concrete action to help support the development of innovative new products for our mobile network infrastructure.

“It is a clear signal that the UK has a world-leading market in which to innovate and invest, as well as spurring the opportunity for UK tech companies, SMEs and academia to take advantage of this growing global market.

“We find ourselves at the start of a challenging period of time, with pressure on rolling out 5G at pace whilst ensuring our networks are resilient, secure and future proof.

“That’s why it’s important that government bring forward further plans on supporting open and disaggregated networks, from technical standards to a long term R&D roadmap.

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