AWTG is delighted to be selected as part of the CORE (Cambridgeshire Open RAN Ecosystem) project by DSIT in their latest initiative to support development of the Open RAN eco-system in the UK. The CORE project is aimed at developing a cutting-edge, multi-vendor 5G Open RAN neutral host platform specifically designed for High Demand Density (HDD) areas. The project aims to cultivate technical expertise and to gain invaluable implementation insights with the ambition to accelerate the deployment of 5G in similar regions across the UK.
The aim of this project is to create a testing ground that is dynamic in nature and will be used to develop and trial advanced levels of interoperability of hardware and software in HDD environments. The goal of the project is to demonstrate how implementation costs can be reduced and simplified. The intention is to promote innovation and encourage new players to the UK market by proving Open RAN in a real-world HDD test environment. The project team will work in partnership with mobile network operators in order to deliver these mutual ambitions.
AWTG contributes its expertise and experience in Open RAN from design, integration, optimisation and operations. Additionally, AWTG brings the outcome of the Flex-5G and Flexi-DAS projects to be implemented in an HDD environment. Through the advancement of AWTG’s cutting-edge innovations in the network, such as xApps, rApps, and advanced materials such as RIS, the project can truly demonstrate the benefit of Open RAN to the industry and to the community especially in highlighting its positive socio-economic impact. With the integration of new radio units within the Open RAN framework, and the implementation of community-driven products such as Augmented Reality experiences will assess the capabilities of Open RAN while also promoting the local tourism industry, the project aims to enhance the diversification of the UK’s Telecommunications Industry supply chain.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s digital connectivity programme Connecting Cambridgeshire will be leading this transformative project that will unlock new opportunities, propel innovation, and reinforce the UK’s position at the forefront of Open RAN technology exploration.
Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said:
“Whether you’re in a busy city centre or a rural village, a fast and reliable mobile connection is vital to staying in touch, accessing services and doing business.
“In order to secure that, we need to embrace a diverse and secure range of technology that will underpin the network.
“The projects we’re backing today with £88 million in Government research and development investment will use innovative Open RAN solutions to make our mobile networks more adaptable and resilient, with future-proofed technology to support bringing lightning-fast connections across the country for many years to come.”
Ian Vernon, COO of AWTG, said:
“By deploying Open RAN innovations from AWTG and our partners we can demonstrate how the technology can bring benefits to the community in Cambridgeshire and set the bar for future nationwide deployments to follow. The CORE project will showcase the how new innovations in Open RAN can deliver excellent customer experiences and at the same time highlight the cost effectiveness of the Open Network Ecosystem.”
Cllr Lorna Dupré, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Environment and Green Investment Committee, which oversees the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme said:
“Cambridgeshire County Council’s digital connectivity programme Connecting Cambridgeshire is proud to be leading this highly qualified consortium, comprising next-generation infrastructure service providers, technology developers, mobile network operators, renowned research universities and market-leading equipment manufacturers.
“All partners in the consortium believe that 5G is a crucial catalyst for enhancing productivity and fostering economic growth within our county. This project provides a unique opportunity to experiment with and trial innovative 5G technologies within the high demand, densely populated areas of Cambridgeshire to address mobile coverage and capacity opportunities and challenges for the wider region going forward.”
Notes to editors
The Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition is part of the government’s £250 million 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, fostering telecoms R&D projects including Future RAN Competition (FRANC), Future Open Networks Research Challenge, and entities like SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC Labs), UK Telecoms Innovation Network, and UK Telecoms Lab.
ONE launched on 14 March 2023, offering organisations funding to develop software and hardware products for enhanced open and interoperable technology, including funding for demonstrations of Open RAN technologies in high-demand density environments.
The UK government’s Open RAN Principles set out the characteristics that open-interface solutions, such as Open RAN, should possess in order to deliver on the UK’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy’s goals for resilient and secure networks with competitive and innovative supply chains.
The UK government and UK mobile network operators have a joint ambition to carry 35% of the UK’s mobile network traffic over open and interoperable RAN architectures by 2030. Read the joint statement here.