A flourishing digital ecosystem and the number one location in the UK and Ireland for full-fibre access
Boasting a population with the highest level of educational degree completion in the UK, Northern Ireland has a flourishing digital economy and strong digital connectivity through fibre and rapidly expanding 5G coverage. It is also home to one of the prestigious Russell Group universities, renowned for their strengths in enterprise and innovation.
of jobs advertised in 2022 were digital tech roles, the highest percentage in the UK
Queen's University Belfast was ranked the UK's most entrepreneurial university (2019, 2020)
Belfast was ranked 2nd in UK in a poll of Top Tech Cities of the Future (2021)
Technologies & trends
The region boasts expertise and capabilities in a number of key telecom fields. Learn more about the relevant technologies.
The potential benefits of 5G, future wireless generations and full-fibre digital connectivity can only be realised if we have confidence in the resilience of our infrastructure.
The Centre for Secure Information Technology at Queen's University Belfast is the UK’s National Innovation and Knowledge Centre for cyber security, and the UK’s largest cyber security focused university technology research, development and innovation centre.
Northern Ireland’s Cyber Security Cluster-NI Cyber-is made up of a group of companies developing world-leading cyber security technologies for customers worldwide. The cluster helps to establish Northern Ireland as a world-leading region in cyber security, by promoting business growth, knowledge sharing, and collaboration opportunities for cybersecurity companies based in the region.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting industry on a broad scale and the telecoms sector is no exception, with Valuates projecting that the global AI in telecoms market size will reach $14.99B by 2027, up from $11.89B in 2020.
Northern Ireland has several major clusters of excellence in AI research including cyber security, hardware, IoT, medicine, robotics, multi-media, analytics and economics. Academic AI capability is concentrated in its two main university institutions: Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast, with over 150 permanent staff involved in AI research across the two universities. Ulster University has a long history of expertise in Data Analytics both in terms of machine learning algorithms and the application of analytical techniques across a diverse range of domains.
The BT Ireland Innovation Centre represents a major partnership between BT and Ulster University and is at the intersection of AI, IoT and Telecommunications. In total there are over 100 companies in Northern Ireland currently working in the sector, including many spinouts from the universities.
Diversification of the telecoms supply chain is ultimately about choice, a desire to broaden the choice of equipment and solution providers in the sector-driven by commercial, technical and geopolitical factors.
Queens University Belfast is a partner in the REASON project, part of the Future Open Networks Research Challenge.
Deploying 5G in Places
We've spoken to local authorities up and down the UK, to hear first hand how they've approached digital infrastructure and connectivity programmes. Designed to be both practical and pragmatic, we've collated insights, assets and guides that can be replicated and adapted to help you on your journey to 5G.
An investment package worth almost £150 million was unveiled recently by the Department of Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT), with up to £100 million to put the UK at the forefront of research and £40 million to boost 5G tech adoption. UKTI...