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Scotland 5G Centre wins bid for future RAN: Diversifying the 5G supply chain funding

Scotland 5G Centre wins bid for future RAN: Diversifying the 5G supply chain funding

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The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) has successfully bid for the UK Government’s Future Radio Access Network Competition, awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

The Scotland 5G Centre, as part of 5G DU-Volution consortium, has been successful in applying for funding to support the UK Government’s Future Radio Access Network: Diversifying the 5G Supply Chain (FRANC) programme.

The 5G DU-Volution project will address the key aims of the FRANC programme by promoting the integration of RAN suppliers’ products at all levels of the architecture, (both software and hardware), into one of the most challenging RAN components – the Distribution Unit (DU).

Working with lead-partner ADVA and other consortia members: BT, AccelerComm, ComAgility and the University of York, the two-year programme will support the development of a new innovative Open RAN enabled Distribution Unit. The aim is to open up the means for UK-based vendors to access the market through deploying their hardware in the DU unit. Importantly, the 5G DU-Volution project will evolve DU devices to meet key industry requirements such as: reduced power, smaller form factors, improved spectrum efficiency and reduced latency.

The Scotland 5G Centre’s role in the partnership is to provide the overall project management and promote dissemination, ensuring the smooth running and delivery of the programme. The centre will work together with the consortia to deliver the innovative new DU and support the O-RAN opportunity, which in time will enable the entry of new players into the market.

Partners AccelerComm, ADVA and CommAgility will work together to deliver the required DU evolution, performance and environmental benefits while the University of York will define DU requirements for future use of O-RAN beyond 5G.

Paul Coffey, the Scotland 5G Centre CEO, said: “This is a great opportunity for collaboration – we are delighted to have been awarded this funding, alongside our partners in the 5G DU-Volution consortium.

“Through this project, the collaborators will accelerate the understanding of interworking between components, enabling innovation through the selection of component vendors to meet specific market requirements.”

The DCMS competition was set up to allocate up to £36 million of R&D funding to projects that support the goals of the government’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy and unlock the full potential of Open RAN.

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