UK Government commits £88m to Open RAN

UK Government commits £88m to Open RAN

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The UK Government has announced 19 successful projects in its Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) Competition.

The winning projects will earn £88 million in UK government R&D investment, including funding for demonstrations of Open RAN technologies in high-demand density environments.

The projects will initiate trials of open 5G networks across the country in major urban centres in Glasgow, Cambridge, Liverpool, Bath and the City of London.

John Whttingdale, minister for data and digital infrastructure said: “The projects we’re backing today with £88 million in government research and development investment will use innovative Open RAN solutions to make our mobile networks more adaptable and resilient, with future-proofed technology to support bringing lightning-fast connections across the country for many years to come.”

Running until March 2025, the projects are part of the government’s Open Networks Research and Development Fund.

The UK’s Open RAN principles have been endorsed by the major UK mobile operators BT/EE, Three UK, Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has reaffirmed the ambition of the UK’s network traffic to pass through an open and interoperable Radio Access Network (RAN) by 2030.

Hamish MacLeod, chief executive of Mobile UK said: “The development of open and interoperable RAN solutions is important to the UK’s mobile industry.

“This announcement highlights Mobile UK’s member operator’s ongoing R&D trial and deployment programmes, helping progress solutions to realise ambitions to grow traffic over open RAN architecture.”

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