The UK Government’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy (2020) sets out the long-term vision for the telecoms market. One where competition and innovation bring forward new deployment models based on open interfaces and interoperable standards, with flexible networks and comprising an array of suppliers. This is because such a market increases competition and choice, and ultimately introduces interchangeability of equipment into the supply chain, boosting resilience.
One of the Government’s top priorities for delivering the strategy is fostering a R&D ecosystem that will support industry to accelerate the development of interoperable deployment methods, like Open RAN. In particular, the strategy identifies the high cost of R&D as a key barrier to entry for suppliers of open and interoperable products.
DCMS is keen to understand from industry how government policy and funding can support the R&D needed to get interoperable technologies competing with traditional deployment methods and accelerate the rate of diversification in the network. We are seeking views on where government policy interventions can support existing R&D activity, such as by enabling matchmaking and facilitating knowledge sharing across the industry, and also where it can actively invest funding in new R&D.
The policy background
Our programme of R&D has, as its ultimate goal, to accelerate the competitiveness of Open RAN for 5G and foster a rich supplier base for widespread Open RAN deployments in the UK’s national networks. This means Open RAN that is performant in the most demanding environments, and that interoperates with legacy networks.
The Telecoms Diversification Taskforce identified five areas that still need further development before Open RAN can be deployed at scale. Those five areas will form the basis of our programme and later in the survey we have provided some questions that we are considering on each of them to guide your response:
- Product development and engineering
- System integration
- Verification testing
- Performance demonstration and network integration
- Commercial sustainability
We value your views to help shape the wider Diversification R&D programme and encourage contributions to this consultation from a wide range of stakeholders. Feel free to provide comments on any number of the five areas, you don't have to do all.
We’re going to ask you:
- Permission to use your data
- Who you work for
- To provide your views on the areas listed above - please note you do not need to address all areas.