The UK Government has launched a £30m competition to make the country a pioneer in developing the next generation of 5G networks.
Managed by the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Future RAN Competition (FRANC) will provide funding to innovative R&D projects across the country that will support the 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy’s goal.
The new scheme also aims to accelerate the development of a new breed of wireless communication technology, Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), to meet UK’s dense urban requirements by 2025.
The tech and telecoms innovators need to submit projects proposals that will help to accelerate the availability of viable Open RAN products and suppliers to secure a share of the £30m funding.
The proposals are advised to focus on exploring issues to increase power efficiency, management of spectrum resources, advanced software platforms and systems integration and security.
The latest move follows the inauguration of a new government-backed £1m high tech lab last week to accelerate the adoption of Open RAN technology.
The two schemes are designed to support the UK government’s £250m 5G Diversification Strategy, which aims to build more secure and innovative telecoms supply chain.
techUK director of markets Matthew Evans 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.”