£28m for UK 5G OpenRAN projects

£28m for UK 5G OpenRAN projects

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Nine projects to receive funding as part of a £28.3m (€32m) project around 5G and OpenRAN

“5G is about so much more than faster mobile internet speeds so we’re investing millions to help some of Britain’s brightest innovators explore the huge potential of the technology to improve and enrich our lives,” said Matt Warman, UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure. “The projects we’ve selected will demonstrate how the blistering speeds of 5G can put some rocket fuel in our economy and help businesses bounce back from the pandemic.

Five of the projects will test out the technical possibilities of Open RAN as an alternative way of building telecoms networks that allows for greater interoperability of radio equipment between vendors. This gives operators more choice and flexibility as they roll out 5G infrastructure.

One of these is a 5G logistics project at the port of Bristol that will use OpenRAN and software from Attocore in Cambridge as well as small cell hardware from Airspan. Cellnex Telecom is the operator, and the project inlcudes researchers from the Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol and the University of Cardiff in Wales.

Trials will also explore how 5G can support the construction industry, testing 5G-powered cameras, drones and sensors at BAM Nuttall’s construction sites in Kilsyth, Glasgow and Shetland.

“The UK Government is funding 5G innovation trials to help Scottish industry harness the opportunities and possibilities 5G offers,” said UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart. “5G is an exciting technology, with higher connection speeds and capacity having potential to enable the use of innovate technology, transforming industry.”

Other projects in the £200m 5G Create project for 5G testbed and demonstrators include the use of 5G in tourism and sporting stadia, as well as an Augmented Reality project around The Green Planet series by broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

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