Insights Government announces new body to support innovation in broadband and mobile network companies

The Government has announced plans for a new Government-funded organisation dedicated to boosting innovation in the UK’s telecoms supply chain. The UK Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN) will act as an information point for telecoms companies looking to access funding or testing facilities for R&D and opportunities to collaborate on developing new and improved technologies for UK mobile and broadband networks.

The Government has also launched a competition for organisations to apply for up to £10 million to establish and run the centre, which will support innovators at the right time to scale up, develop their products, gain better access to telecoms markets and drive exports abroad.

The UKTIN will be run by a consortium of organisations with telecoms expertise and will support knowledge sharing and collaboration on open and interoperable network technologies such as Open RAN, which allows telecoms companies to mix and match telecoms equipment rather than having to rely on a single supplier when building or maintaining networks.

The UKTIN will be tasked with creating an up-to-date database of information on R&D funding in the public and private sector. It will also create an annual report mapping out the latest developments and opportunities in disruptive and innovative telecoms technology in the UK, including Open RAN.

Setting up the UKTIN was one of the key recommendations in last year’s report from the Telecoms Diversification Taskforce, an independent body set up by the Government to advise on necessary steps to transform the UK’s telecoms supply chain so it is more competitive, innovative and secure.

The UKTIN is expected to be up and running by the end of 2022, with the winning consortium announced in the summer. To read the Government’s announcement in full, click here.