£7.3m secured to create stronger and more diverse telecoms system

A University of York-led bid to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has won more than £7.3m for a project to help reduce reliance on single suppliers in the UK’s telecommunications network.

A team from the university’s School of Physics, Engineering and Technology led on the project bid, which is part of a £25m challenge from DCMS to universities to work with telecoms organisations to develop open and flexible wireless networks.

The aim is to conduct research and development to help change the way mobile radio base stations can connect with each other and the core telecommunications network.

The Yorkshire Open Radio Access Network project (YO-RAN) sees York-based academics partner with the University of Sheffield and businesses across Yorkshire and beyond.

The project will test ways to help move the UK’s mobile network towards a resilient, interoperable approach allowing a diversity of suppliers, strengthening UK research and development capabilities as 6G rolls out.

Professor Alister Burr said: “We’re pleased to be leading this important initiative, bringing together two leading Yorkshire universities and a number of significant operators and suppliers.

“Open-RAN has become an important focus of our research in both universities, and also fits well with the expertise of our industrial partners.

“We hope YO-RAN will help lay the foundations of a new industry in our region especially, as well as strengthening the UK telecoms capability and UK telecoms research and development.”