Friday, 16 December 2022 09:14

UK to boost 5G and 6G research with £110 million R&D package

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UK to boost 5G and 6G research with £110 million R&D package Image by Pexels from Pixabay

The UK government has announced that research and development on next-generation 5G and 6G wireless technology and telecoms security is to be ramped up as part of a £110 million state-funded investment.

In the announced package, three top UK universities, University of York, University of Bristol and University of Surrey, will receive a share of £28 million to team up with major telecoms companies including Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung to design and build 'networks of the future' such as 6G.

The move follows Ericsson and Samsung’s recent decision to set up 6G research centres in the UK and the government says it will also support the roll out of 5G by making it easier for more firms to enter the market.

According to the government, the universities will work with UK academics and industry players to ensure future network technologies, including 6G, are designed in a way that brings an end to current network setups where all equipment within a network must be from a single supplier.

The package includes £80 million for a state-of-the-art UK Telecoms Lab being built in Solihull in the West Midlands.

The lab will act as a secure research facility for mobile network operators, suppliers and academics to research and test the security, resilience and performance of their 5G and, in the future, 6G network technology.

According to the government, the facility will also create dozens of specialised jobs in telecoms and cyber security for the region.

As part of the investment, a £3 million R&D jointly funded partnership with the Republic of Korea has also kicked off, which aims to accelerate the deployment of Open RAN and associated technologies.

The government says Open RAN is crucial to its £250 million strategy to end the UK’s reliance on a small number of firms to build and maintain 5G networks.

"The technology powering our phone and internet networks is evolving rapidly and with 6G on the horizon we must stay ahead of the curve," said Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan.

"The funding will also turbocharge our work to strengthen telecoms supply chains so we are no longer reliant on a handful of companies to develop and maintain our 5G networks."

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Stan Beer

Stan Beer has been involved with the IT industry for 39 years and has worked as a senior journalist and editor at most of the major media publications, including The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Age, SMH, BRW, and a number of IT trade journals. He co-founded iTWire in 2004, where he was editor in chief until 2016. Today, Stan consults with iTWire News Site /Website administration, advertising scheduling, news editorial posts. In 2016 Stan was presented with a Kester Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Australian IT journalism.

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