DSIT Funded Projects
The Open Networks R&D fund, delivered through the Department of Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of open interface architectures, such as Open RAN. The government has allocated £250m for these activities over three years from March 2022 to March 2025.
The programme aims to deliver on the following R&D Objectives:
Accelerate open-interface products and solutions - ensuring they are truly interoperable, performant and sustainable - to support our long-term vision for a more open and innovative telecoms market.
Incentivise and derisk accelerated deployment in the UK - to encourage and accelerate network operators to adopt and deploy open network solutions.
Develop an internationally recognised UK telecoms innovation ecosystem positioning the UK as a leading global market and focal point for research into open network technology.
We are already seeing momentum in the global market to ensure that open-interface solutions are near commercial grade for wide-scale deployments. Mobile network operators, builders and suppliers are taking proactive steps to support Open RAN trials and committing to deployments in their commercial networks.
The UK Government’s investment in the Open Networks Programme will accelerate and support these initiatives - enabling the development of open interface solutions and stepping up our efforts to shape technology standards alongside key industry and international commercial partners.
The fund will help to:
Evolve the UK innovation ecosystem (through the development of the UK Telecoms Innovation Network, and coordinating and shaping technical standards);
Facilitate international research and development (for instance the UK/Republic of Korea Open RAN R&D collaboration);