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UK, Korea team for Open RAN power competition

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The governments of the UK and South Korea are jointly funding a £3m competition to boost the energy efficiency of Open RAN radio systems.

Samsung of Korea is a leading supplier and has already rolled out OpenRAN basestation equipment in the UK with Vodafone.

The competition is part of the government’s Open Networks Programme to boost the 5G supply chain in the UK and make it more secure with local production.

The UK government will provide up to £1.6 million to fund a single UK-based consortium, which will collaborate with a consortium funded with a similar amount by the Korean government.

This will allow UK and Korean companies and research organisations to collaborate on Open RAN R&D and develop new products and solutions for the market and accelerate the development of power-efficient technologies, products and solutions for Open RAN systems.

The project will ​conduct a joint assessment of the overall power budget of open RAN base stations vs traditional base stations, in order to determine the critical items and make sure any progress impacts meaningfully on the consumption. The assessment should consider industry standard approaches such as those set by the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance and the systems developed in the collaboration should match or exceed the performance of those provided by the market by the end of the collaboration.

This will make the power efficiency of Open RAN systems comparable to existing telecoms equipment by the end of the project on 31 March 2024.

The competition will run for eight weeks, opening this week and closing on 20 September 2022 at noon. It is open to applications from UK-based consortia of at least two organisations with a strong industry representation.

Details of the timings are at www.gov.uk/guidance/ukrepublic-of-korea-open-ran-rd-collaboration with applications to ONP.enquiries@dcms.gov.uk 

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