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Government awards grants to UK 5G Open Network Projects in Bristol, Bath and Worcester

18 September 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Government awards grants to UK 5G Open Network Projects in Bristol, Bath and Worcester
5G Network Connection Concept-5G smart cellular network antenna base station on the telecommunication mast.

Communities in Bristol, Bath and Worcester will share an £88 million government funding pot that aims to bring 5G connectivity to more citizens.

The 19 successful projects in the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) Competition will demonstrate the reliability and feasibility of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) technologies and showcase their role in delivering resilient and future-proofed connectivity to UK citizens and businesses.

The government says the ONE competition helps deliver on the UK’s ambition to be a global leader in telecoms research and development, through investment in cutting-edge open hardware and software.

Read more: WM5G supports Birmingham City Council's path to boost digital connectivity

The £9.9 million One Western O-RAN (Bath) project will deploy a 5G Stand Alone RAN in four High Density Demand (HDD) scenarios: the City of Bath, around Cardiff’s Principality stadium, a set of popup event sites in Worcestershire, and Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park.

Meanwhile, the £5.3 million Project AURA (Agile Universal Radio Architecture) will see a consortium trial more affordable radio connectivity in Bristol, Ipswich, and Northampton.

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.

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"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."

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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