Three VMware projects, ARIANE, BEACH, and 5GMoDe, have been selected by the UK government as part of its open networks ecosystem competition. These projects, chosen by the Department for Science Innovation and Technology (DSIT), aim to enhance the UK telecom ecosystem by promoting greater diversity in open network communications solutions.
The UK government launched the Open Networks R&D Fund in 2022 to create a more diversified telecoms infrastructure that improves the future resilience and security of UK networks. The fund has three main objectives: accelerating the development of open-interface products and solutions to ensure interoperability and sustainability, incentivizing the development of new technologies like Open RAN, and establishing the UK as an internationally recognized telecoms ecosystem.
The competition has allocated £80m of funding to support the development of the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) across 19 projects. These projects will focus on improving connectivity in areas with high demand on mobile services, such as cities, airports, and stadiums.
The three VMware projects will address energy efficiency use cases and support intelligent network programmability. Project 5GMoDe will provide a “Cell on Wheels” solution for deployment at events and high-demand areas. Project BEACH aims to create a scalable shared network solution for energy-efficient 4G and 5G Small Cell deployment. Project ARIANE will establish a vendor-neutral environment to facilitate the deployment of multi-vendor Open RAN systems.
The ONE Competition projects are due to commence in October and are expected to run until March 2025. These projects will lay the foundation for more open and desegregated network communications solutions, enabling innovation and growth in the UK telecoms ecosystem.