The UK government outlined plans to invest more than £100 million on R&D into next-generation technology including 6G, as part of an initiative in collaboration with vendors Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung.

In a statement, the UK government announced it will hand universities in York, Bristol and Surrey a share of £28 million to team with the vendors to design and build future networks including 6G as part of an overall £110 million pot.

It believes the move will add weight to the UK’s status as a leader in telecoms research and builds on a recent move by Ericsson and Samsung to set up 6G research centres in the country.

As well as the 6G push, the government will support the rollout of 5G by making it easier for companies to enter the market.

Strengthen supply chains
The trio of universities will work with industry players to set up future network technologies in a way that promotes a more diverse and innovative telecoms market, with the goal of ending network designs based around a single supplier’s equipment.

As part of the package, £80 million will be allocated to build a UK telecoms laboratory, which will include a research facility for operators and other industry players to test security, resilience and performance of 5G and 6G technologies, and create jobs in the industry and for cybersecurity.

Digital secretary Michelle Donelan said the drive around 6G was to ensure the country stays “ahead of the curve” and the funding is also designed to strengthen supply chains “so we are no longer reliant on a handful of companies to develop and maintain our 5G networks”.

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