West Midlands 5G Limited (WM5G) – the UK’s largest 5G innovation company – has won a £10m Government tender to create the UK’s Telecoms Innovation Network (UKTIN).
WM5G won the tender as part of a UK wide consortium led by Digital Catapult and also including CW (Cambridge Wireless) and the University of Bristol.
UKTIN, first announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in March, aims to make the UK the easiest place in the world to access and take part in telecoms research, development and innovation.
It will guide businesses and researchers looking to access funding or testing facilities in the UK and enable the best use of public and private investment in R&D, as well as ensuring that knowledge is effectively and efficiently shared across the telecoms industry.
WM5G, which was set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and DCMS to develop the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed, will use its unique experience to deliver UKTIN with a key focus on driving economic growth and inward investment by addressing key market challenges hampering innovation and new entrants into telecoms.
To address these opportunities and create social value, WM5G will lead the creation of a National Telecoms Entrepreneurship, Employment and Training network, at the heart of UKTIN.
UKTIN is expected to be up and running in September, at which point it will begin to take over from UK5G to help organisations get the most out of what the UK has to offer.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I’m pleased to hear that WM5G and the consortium have won the tender to lead on the creation of the UK Telecoms Innovation Network – building on WM5G’s formidable track record having already helped to establish the West Midlands as the best connected 5G region in the UK.
"Fast and reliable digital connectivity is an important element in delivering Levelling Up here in our region so I’m delighted that WM5G continues to play a vital part in helping us to do just that.”
Robert Franks, Managing Director of WM5G, added: “We’re delighted to have won this tender along with our consortium partners and DCMS. The UK already invests over £1 Billion a-year in telecoms research, development and innovation.
“Through UKTIN we will turbo-charge this investment – helping the UK extend its leadership in open networks and vital new technologies such as 5G and 6G – building on the strengths of our regional clusters to create more skilled jobs, attract more investment and deliver economic growth.”