The Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) is seeking applications for up to $100 million in funding to promote open networking solutions such as 4G and 5G OpenRAN on cellular networks, along with other technologies that promote standardization in design, functionality, and interoperability.
The UK Open Networks Research and Development Fund is launching the Open Networks Ecosystem Competition to support projects that help create software and hardware products for open-source, interoperable digital networking technologies.
In addition, the competition seeks to address three major obstacles to the adoption of open mobile networks:
Open, diverse, innovative ecosystem
High Demand Density (HDD) Use Cases/Demonstrations: HDD locations such as urban areas, airports, sports venues and major public events pose the greatest technical challenges for mobile networks. The fund is looking for projects that aim to improve performance within HDD environments.
RIC and RAN software automationthe fund welcomes projects that aim to improve the openness and interoperability of Open RAN software.
Processors, RF and other RAN hardware: the fund is looking for projects aimed at accelerating the creation and implementation of hardware with open interfaces, such as antenna components and RF chips.
This research is part of Open Networks’ government R&D fund, which taps into their $300 million supply chain diversification strategy through several telecom R&D projects.
Kristian Tivo, executive director of Telecom Infra Projects (TIP), stated that this partnership would continue to provide critical infrastructure support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
“The UK government is investing heavily in supporting a more open, diverse and critically innovative ecosystem of telecom providers. As it rightly pointed out, blueprints for developing, demonstrating and testing approaches that are commercially ready for operators to deploy are essential to the success of open networks. TIP has worked with operators to create a certification and badge framework to validate market-ready solutions.
The UK aims to become a leader in telecoms diversification and develop home-grown innovations, particularly for the RIC, which will deliver new use cases that ultimately benefit consumers and businesses. TIP has used previous UK funding to accelerate testing of interoperable RAN solutions, and this funding is another important step towards the open goal.”
Successful projects will continue until March 2025.
Via: ISP Review (opens in new tab)