To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to increase (a) investment in OpenRAN technology and (b) vendor diversification in the UK’s 5G network.
20 October 2020
The Government wants to make Open RAN - technology that prioritises open-source and interoperable approaches - widely available across the sector so that operators can have the flexibility to use multiple suppliers throughout their network, rather than being over-reliant on one or two. This will increase choice, grow the market and build resilience. Open RAN is still in an early stage of development, however we are prioritising the testing of Open RAN through the existing 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme.
The Government will publish its targeted 5G supply chain diversification strategy focused on rebalancing the telecommunications supply chain in the coming weeks alongside the Telecoms Security Bill. The strategy will focus on measures to protect incumbents, attract new suppliers, and accelerate open-interface solutions, whilst building UK capability.
The Government has established a Diversification Taskforce - chaired by Lord Livingston of Parkhead - which will provide independent and expert advice to the Government, supporting the development of the strategy and ensuring that our measures are ambitious and effective.