The UK government has launched a £30 million fund to explore and develop new 5G use cases and technical capabilities.
The 5G Create initiative is part of the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme. The competition is open in terms of both sectors and ideas but areas of interest specified by the government include secure networks; diversifying the telecoms supply chain; interoperability between hardware and software; access to spectrum; and management of services across heterogenous network types.
The government said these areas could “lower barriers to entry and accelerate development of new products”. Other suggested topics for exploration include the combination of big data, AI and connectivity; virtualised and open radio access network (RAN) architectures; augmented and virtual reality AR/VR; and even neural interfaces.
The funding is being administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and projects can apply for between £250,000 and £5 million. DCMS says it does not expect to fund more than 50% of the total costs for eligible projects.
Additional funding may be made available to projects at a later date at DCMS’s discretion and the department will also consider applications for a larger amount of funding on a case-by-case basis.
There will be two cohorts. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2020 for the first group and July 27 for the second. Grant -funded activities must be complete by March 31, 2022.
The timeline will continue to be reviewed in the light of Covid-19 disruption.