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Cardiff researchers to accelerate development of UK 6G networks

3 January 2023

Cardiff University is one of several partners in a consortium that has been granted £12 million in funding to develop and industrialise technologies and solutions for future 6G mobile networks.

Researchers from the Centre for High Frequency Engineering (CHFE) at the School of Engineering are part of a £12-million project, ‘Realising Enabling Architectures and Solutions for Open Networks’ (REASON), which aims to expand 6G services across the country and make future telecommunications networks more sustainable and secure.

Project REASON, led by Bristol University, will bring together partners representing the entire telecoms R&D ecosystem, including leading UK universities, large mobile network equipment vendors including Ericsson, Samsung and Nokia, service and content providers, and innovative SMEs.

The Semiconductor team includes Cardiff, Bangor and Swansea Universities, the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, and Integrated Compound Semiconductors Ltd.

The research team from the School of Engineering, including Dr Jonny Lees, Prof Khaled Elgaid, and Dr Roberto Quaglia, Dr Abdalla Eblabla and Prof Paul Tasker, will develop novel semiconductor technology and microwave circuits, together with characterisation and modelling approaches to reduce power consumption and increase the performance of future 6G communications systems.

The wider project teams will develop new concepts to support network densification and smart technologies to enable multi-technology access networks, extract real-time sensing information and support 6G use cases. This will include novel semiconductor components designed to optimise the system performance of new solutions in RF and Optical transmission modes.

The REASON project is funded by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The funding was secured from the Future Open Networks Research Challenge, part of the UK government’s strategy to diversify the UK’s telecoms supply chains.

In an article by CSC, the Secretary of State for DCMS, Michelle Donelan said: “The technology powering our phone and internet networks is evolving rapidly and with 6G on the horizon, we must stay ahead of the curve. This government investment will see top UK universities join forces with industry to develop the nuts and bolts underpinning new networks, create skilled jobs testing the security of the latest telecoms technology, and ensure that our plan for a more diverse and innovative telecommunications equipment market is sustained in the future.”

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