The Scotland 5G Centre is named as a Partner in £9.1 Million DSIT–funded telecom innovation project
The Scotland 5G Centre, the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G connectivity in Scotland’s industry and public sectors, has been named as a support partner on the delivery of the SCONDA (Small Cells ORAN in Dense Areas) Project.
Together with AWTG Ltd, Three UK, Boldyn Networks, P.I. Works, Inc., the University of Surrey, the University of Glasgow and Accenture, The Scotland 5G Centre has been awarded a £9.1M project that will address the unique technical and commercial challenges of mobile networks in High-Density Demand areas.
The funding is part of an £88 million research and development boost for innovative connectivity to future-proof UK mobile networks from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). It is one of 19 projects of the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition, designed to tackle barriers to the adoption of open mobile networks by accelerating the development and demonstration of new telecom technology as well as considering the feasibility and reliability of this technology.
SCONDA is a first-of-its-kind project that will integrate Open RAN and Traditional RAN in a high-density, high-demand environment handling live traffic in a Mobile Network Operator network. Open RAN is a new approach for creating the mobile networks needed to connect devices to the internet. It is a non-proprietary version of the Radio Access Network (RAN) system that allows interoperation between cellular network equipment provided by different vendors. On another hand, in a Traditional RAN system, the radio, hardware and software are proprietary. This means that the equipment comes from one supplier and that operators are unable to, deploy networks with components from different vendors.
The SCONDA partnership will build, integrate, optimise and deliver an Open RAN network in Glasgow City Centre, embedded into the existing Three UK core network, operating alongside their Traditional RAN.
Glasgow was chosen as a location for the project as it is a current hotspot for Three customers both in footfall and mobile traffic. The project will handle live traffic from Three customers aiming to provide improvement in both coverage and capacity.
Luca Campanalonga, Business Development Manager at The Scotland 5G Centre said: “We are very proud to be part of the SCONDA consortium, which will deliver a first-in-the-world project to pioneer the integration of Open RAN into an existing, live Traditional RAN network. This collective effort will help improve network performance and user experience, and it is great to have Glasgow as an epicentre for innovation in the mobile industry. The Scotland 5G Centre’s continued role in DSIT programmes demonstrates our commitment to supporting the adoption of advanced telecommunications in Scotland, informing public policy on their benefits and replicability approaches for deployment at scale of these technologies”
More information about SCONDA is available here.