£30M 5G Competition
A £30million competition that aims to make the UK a leading global destination for developing 5G networks has been launched.
13:36 28 July 2021
The Future RAN Competition (FRANC) has been launched to tackle the world's over-reliance on a small number of telecoms vendors. The £30million competition aims to turn the United Kingdom into a leading global destination for the development of 5G networks by fostering research collaboration between international and new homegrown players in the UK's public telecoms network.
Applicants are encouraged to submit their proposals on or before 17 August 2021. Tech and telecoms innovators' proposals must highlight how they can help fast-track the availability of viable Open RAN products and suppliers. Applicants could explore systems integration and security, management of radio wave 'spectrum' resources, power efficiency and advanced software platforms.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: "This competition aims to get some of our most creative minds helping the UK safely and securely deliver the amazing benefits of 5G for people and businesses.
"It is a major part of our plans to harness the country’s tech prowess, open up the telecoms market, and create new jobs and investment as we build back better from the pandemic."
Matthew Evans, Director of Markets, techUK, said: "Today’s announcement is another positive step in driving forward the UK’s telecoms diversification agenda, with concrete action to help support the development of innovative new products for our mobile network infrastructure. It is a clear signal that the UK has a world-leading market in which to innovate and invest, as well as spurring the opportunity for UK tech companies, SMEs and academia to take advantage of this growing global market.
"We find ourselves at the start of a challenging period of time, with pressure on rolling out 5G at pace whilst ensuring our networks are resilient, secure and future proof. That’s why it’s important that government bring forward further plans on supporting open and disaggregated networks, from technical standards to a long term R&D roadmap."