UK and South Korea partner on 5G and 6G innovation
The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced a collaboration with the Republic of Korea, along with a new research scheme to accelerate 5G and 6G development.
The government will invest £1.6m into a competition totalling £3.6m in partnership with the Republic of Korea to create R&D for interoperable solutions such as Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) technology. This will be matched by a total of £2.1m from the industry.
Applicants must be from consortia with two or more organisations from a relevant industry, academic field or public sector background. Both countries will fund a group of several companies.
The DCMS said that entrants will be able to sign up to help fund network equipment research and open and interoperable telecoms solutions.
The government claims that by encouraging research in the sector, the high energy cost of Open RAN could be reduced, which will in turn help promote more carbon-neutral operations.
This competition is part of the government’s Open Networks Programme, which will deliver on its £250mn 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification Strategy.
In a statement digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman added: “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.”
Other O-RAN partnerships announced this year include BT’s trials with Nokia in Hull earlier this year. The telco installed Nokia’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) for O-RAN across several sites to optimise network performance for customers of its mobile network, EE.
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