Yorkshire & The Humber

The largest cluster of higher education institutions outside of London and a robust regional economy-Yorkshire and the Humber is a force to be reckoned with

West Yorkshire is the largest economic region, by GVA, outside of the capital and tech has a key role to play in that: Yorkshire’s tech sector attracts notable VC investment and Leeds City Region has a significant number of tech-scale ups.  North Yorkshire has also seen significant government investment in 5G testbeds and trials, with a particular focus on bringing connectivity to rural areas.

Yorkshire Humber
  • £69 billion

    West Yorkshire's GVA

  • 258

    tech scale-ups in Leeds City Region in 2020

  • 7

    universities in West Yorkshire

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 Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster is an initiative created as part of the UK Cyber Security Forum to help businesses and organisations across the region to collaborate and build a stronger standard of cyber security as part of a knowledge exchange collective. Plexal is also running a short term pilot with Scarborough Borough Council to kickstart the North Yorkshire Cyber Security Network, designed to unlock prosperity and new career opportunities for the area. 

The Secure 5G Platform using Novel, Efficient Wideband PA project, part based in Shipley, is exploring new security layers for 5G Open RAN platforms.

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Telecom Network Security
Wireless Networking Technologies

Wireless networking is experiencing a period of exciting change with the development of new generations from 5G to 6G, WiFi 6 and 7, offering new use cases and business cases that extend far beyond just faster speeds.

As part of the UK's Testbeds and Trials programme, 5G was deployed across North Yorkshire, exploring the impact and potential of delivery rural connectivity to the agriculture sector and local communities.

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Wireless networks
Non-Terrestrial Networking

Non-terrestrial networking (NTN) refers to any network that involves space or airborne elements, including satellite communication networks, high-altitude platform systems (HAPS), and air-to-ground networks.

Space Hub Yorkshire is a coordinator of Space activity across the region, a catalyst for new satellite and geospatial data markets, a source of Space expertise, a facilitator of new collaborations, a driver of investments, a champion for Space start-ups and an advocate for Space research and industry opportunities. Nexus at the University of Leeds is home to one of the Satellite Application Catapult's Space Enterprise Labs, acting as a hub for Space innovation, discussion and visualisation for the whole region.

Academically, York University's interdisciplinary Centre for High Altitude Platform Applications, is pioneering technologies for wireless communications, environmental monitoring and atmospheric science applications.

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Telecoms satellite
Artificial Intelligence

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.

Universities across the region, including Sheffield, Leeds and York, are conducting fundamental theoretical work alongside applied multidisciplinary research across AI with scientific, engineering, societal, ethical and legal researchers.  In a significant local innovation project, Yorkshire Water, the University of Sheffield and Siemens Digital Industries have joined forces to use AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) to reduce wastewater network blockages and pollution.  

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Artificial Intelligence
Optical Communications

Optical communication refers to the use of light to carry a communication signal to the remote end, instead of an electrical current.

The Future Photonics Hub is a collaboration between the University of Southampton and the EPSRC National Epitaxy Facility at the University of Sheffield.  It bridges the gap between academic research and product development, uniting the UK science base with industry and funding agencies to co-invest in R&D.  It is a collaboration between 

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Optical fiber

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. 

The region is represented in a number of diversification projects: YO-RAN is led by University of York with University of Sheffield a project partner; ECORAN is led by University of Leeds; Shipley-based company Slipstream Engineering Design are a partner in the Secure 5G Platform using Novel, Efficient Wideband PA project; and testing in the 5G DU-Volution project will take place initially in the University of York labs.

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Telecoms tower

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.

Discover some of the ways you can seize the opportunity and be better connected.