5G industry news Telecommunications Topic | Open RAN

Capgemini joins SONIC Labs

  • 4 minute read
  • Published by Simon Rockman on 8 Nov 2022
  • Last modified 9 Nov 2022
Digital Catapult reveals Capgemini in the UK as the latest company to join its SONIC Labs testbed
  • Capgemini has joined five other companies on the Digital Catapult and Ofcom led SONIC Labs programme to trial the integration of Open RAN (Radio Access Network) products into working end-to-end systems.
  • The organisation will work collaboratively with the five other businesses, Digital Catapult and Ofcom to integrate and test their products in lab and indoor mobile network settings, accelerating their route to commercialisation
  • This programme is part of £15 million government investment in the SONIC Labs programme to diversify the global telecoms supply chain and deliver fast, secure and reliable connectivity

Digital Catapult has today announced that Capgemini is joining SONIC Labs – a cutting edge interoperability lab – working alongside five other companies, including: Benetel, Cable Free, Effnet, IS-Wireless and Phluido.

SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs is a programme from Digital Catapult and Ofcom, funded by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), to allow new solution providers to enter the telecoms supply chain in the UK. It will drive forward the rollout of a new wireless communication technology known as Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN), which enables mobile networks to be built using a variety of different equipment suppliers.

Digital Catapult will help the six organisations to integrate their Open RAN products into working end to end systems, by enabling testing in indoor mobile network settings. The programme is creating a collaborative environment for testing how easily different Open RAN products, solutions and services from multiple vendors can integrate and exchange information.

The organisations will share best practices around the implementation of Open RAN standards, solve specific Open RAN integration problems, collaborate with new partners to create knowledge, and even have the chance to showcase their products to potential customers and end-users.

Accelerating the adoption of Open RAN technology has the potential to diversify the UK 5G supply chain so it is fit for the future – making it more secure and accessible for new market entrants.

"Achieving a high performance 5G – Open RAN eco-system with a diversified telecom supply chain and flexible footprint will be an important characteristic of SONIC Labs. It will be a key enabler in the UK’s move towards Intelligent Industry by increasing the accessibility and security of public and private 5G. With our Open RAN software components, we are very excited to embark on this advanced open and interoperable technology journey with Digital Catapult and help shape the future of the UK’s telecoms supply chain."

- Fotis KaronisGroup Lead for 5G and Edge computing at Capgemini

"We’re funding SONIC Labs to lead the development of a new breed of telecoms technology which will strengthen our 5G networks and supply chains so they’re fit for the future.

It is just one of the ways our £250 million strategy is opening up the UK market to a diverse and innovative variety of suppliers to build and maintain our telecoms networks."

- Julia Lopez DCMS Minister for State

- Joe Butler, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Catapult, said:

 “We’re pleased to provide our leading technical expertise and lab facilities to help these six companies test their Open RAN products and solutions and support them on their route to market.

“Through our SONIC Labs programme, we’re helping to foster innovation across the telecoms sector – diversifying the 5G supply chain market in the UK and delivering fast, secure and reliable connectivity.”

Alongside access to Digital Catapult’s advanced facilities and technical support, participants will also have the opportunity to take part in thought-leadership events throughout and beyond the six month technical programme, and will benefit from networking opportunities and targeted innovation activities to accelerate their route to commercialisation.

- Sachin Jogia, Ofcom’s Chief Technology Officer, said:

“SONIC Labs gives these six companies a great opportunity to test their technology in a real-world environment. So, we’re really looking forward to working with them – and Digital Catapult – to see how this innovative technology operates, what lessons can be learned and how it could help shape the telecoms supply chains of the future.”

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