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Five companies to explore potential of Open RAN on SONIC Labs testbed

Digital Catapult, working in partnership with Ofcom, has given five companies the opportunity to accelerate the development of their Open RAN products, through becoming part of the next phase of its SONIC Labs programme.

SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs is a two year programme from Digital Catapult and Ofcom, funded by DCMS, to allow new solution providers to enter the telecoms supply chain in the UK. It will drive forward the rollout of a new wireless communication technology known as Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN), which enables mobile networks to be built using a variety of different equipment suppliers.

Digital Catapult will help the five organisations to integrate their Open RAN products into working end to end systems, by enabling testing in indoor mobile network settings. The programme is creating a collaborative environment for testing how easily different Open RAN products, solutions and services from multiple vendors can integrate and exchange information.

The organisations – all Open RAN vendors – will share best practices around the implementation of Open RAN standards, solve specific Open RAN integration problems, collaborate with new partners to create knowledge, and even have the chance to showcase their products to potential customers and end-users.

Accelerating the adoption of Open RAN technology has the potential to diversify the UK 5G supply chain so it is fit for the future – making it more secure and accessible for new market entrants.

Alongside access to Digital Catapult’s advanced facilities and technical support, participants will also have the opportunity to take part in thought-leadership events throughout and beyond the six month technical programme, and will benefit from networking opportunities and targeted innovation activities to accelerate their route to commercialisation.

CT Bureau

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