AWTG leads the Flexi-DAS winning consortium for DCMS’s Open RAN R&D collaboration with the Republic of Korea

London, December 13, 2022 – AWTG is leading the way in significantly improving power-efficient network coverage and capacity expansion by integrating next-generation materials and technologies. A grant from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Open RAN Research & Development (R&D) fund gives AWTG and the Flexi DAS partners a great opportunity to push the boundaries of saving energy while extending network coverage and capacity at the same time as diversifying the supply chain.  There is potential to make a real difference in the lives of people around the world.

The Flexi-DAS consortium includes AWTG, University of Surrey 5G/6G Innovation Centre; BAI Communications, Lime Communications, and Virgin Media O2. The Consortium will build on Flex-5G’s end-to-end Open RAN compliant 5G Stand-Alone network. This new scheme will develop a next generation Distributed Antenna System (DAS) using cutting edge technologies such as world’s first use of Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS).

The Open RAN R&D collaboration with the Republic of Korea is part  of the UK government’s Open Networks Programme, which will deliver on the £250 million 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification Strategy through a range of telecoms R&D projects. To facilitate deeper collaboration between the UK industry and the Republic of Korea – recognised as leaders in wireless infrastructure – this project will receive a total of more than £3 million and aims to improve knowledge sharing and best practice in Open RAN deployment; this is the first international project under The Open Networks R&D Fund programme, and we anticipate real synergies between the two projects.

Open RAN technology is a game-changer for the UK’s telecoms supply chain. It allows operators to combine equipment from different suppliers and is an integral part of the government’s £250 million strategy to make 5G networks more diverse, competitive and secure. This initiative will go a long way in reducing our reliance on a small number of companies to build and maintain our 5G infrastructure.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said:

“We are putting the UK at the forefront of 5G technology through a bold new partnership with the Republic of Korea.

“BAI and other innovative British firms are joining forces with their Korean counterparts to solve some of the challenges facing this cutting-edge connectivity so we can confidently deliver major benefits for our citizens and economies.”

Ian Vernon, AWTG’s COO commented:

“Flexi-DAS and the technologies developed therein are key to being able to efficiently densify 5G network radio component deployments to the level necessary to achieve widespread high-performance 5G coverage, both indoors and outdoors. AWTG is delighted to be working with such a high-quality consortium in the UK towards such ends, and is looking forward to collaborating with the excellent Republic of Korea consortium through the project.”

President Sung Bae Jun of the Korean Institute for Information & Communication Technology Promotion said:

“It is a great pleasure to launch this UK-ROK Open RAN R&D Collaboration which will see Korean and British companies working together to develop innovative solutions to key open RAN and telecoms challenges.

“I am also pleased to sign a joint DCMS-IITP Terms of Reference which will guide our cooperation and support further UK-ROK exchange.  Both the UK and ROK recognise the importance of initiatives to support telecoms innovation and to support the resilience of telecommunication infrastructure supply chains.”

Future 5G connectivity offers a huge leap forward recognised by recent commitments from the United States, Canada and Australia to sign-up to UK’s vision for diversified telecoms supply chains. The UK has led the way in pushing for Open RAN technology, with their set of principles guiding public and private investment towards creating a more competitive, innovative and secure telecoms market. This opens up many possibilities that could revolutionise people’s daily lives, such as lower energy consumption, faster internet speeds, connected and autonomous vehicles, improved artificial intelligence and precision healthcare. AWTG is proud to be part of this milestone.

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For more information about this initiative: Contact AWTG Ltd at [email protected]