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18 Aug 2022

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UK Announces Plans to Upgrade to 5G and 6G Innovation.

According to digital minister Matt Hancock, Britain will be the first country to unleash the potential of 5G and 6G mobile networks by collaborating with South Korea. In an announcement by the minister at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, he said the move will make Britain the undisputed 5G capital of Europe and a global leader in this transformational technology, just as we are with 4G today. Britain's digital infrastructure will also be improved through a 6G Test Bed Trial, which BT and Huawei will deliver.

The UK government's new 5G strategy will unleash the power of the next generation of mobile technology to create 10,000 new jobs and generate GBP 1 billion in investment, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Matt Hancock announced.

The strategy will see the UK become a world leader in 5G and 6G research and development and support the deployment of 5G across the UK by 2025.

Over £25 million has been put aside to fund the 'Future Open Networks Research Challenge.' Scholars and industry experts can apply for funding to support the research into interoperable and open telecommunication solutions similar to an Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN).

The Future Open Networks Research Challenge is part of the wider £250 million UK Government' Open Networks R&D Fund'.

The Fund is dedicated to the development of interoperable solutions to enhance the resilience of the nation's telecom networks, reduce deployment costs, and enable innovative new players to compete against established incumbents.

"The UK's strong, diverse mobile ecosystem will be a cornerstone of the country's future prosperity and well-being.

"The measures announced today offer further opportunities to build on the UK's thriving R&D into advanced telecoms and enable operators to access more diversity in the supply chain while enhancing security and innovation." Chief Executive at Mobile UK Hamish MacLeod said.

In response to growing concerns that British wireless technologies are lagging behind developments in the rest of the world, the government has created a new £10 million institute called the UK Telecoms Innovation Network.

The group act as a technology oasis where industry experts, university researchers, and academic researchers can access financial funding and facilities to work and collaborate on creating new broadband and mobile technology.

The winners of the UKTIN competition are Cambridge Wireless (CW), Digital Catapult, West Midlands 5G, and the University of Bristol.

"With the UK Telecoms Innovation Network, we have an exciting opportunity to transform UK telecoms into a growing, resilient, secure, and globally significant sector. The UK has many strengths, but our research, development, and innovation ecosystem is fragmented.

"I am proud to be joined by a strong consortium of partners who each bring their expertise and experience that will prove vital in coalescing and expanding our ecosystem and driving future UK capabilities." Explained Jeremy Silver, The CEO of digital Catapult.

UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman commented: "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."

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