New £12m project to make future telecommunications network greener, more resilient and ubiquitous

Professor Nick Race
Professor Nick Race

Ensuring the future of the UK's telecommunication network is secure, caters to all of society, boosts the economy and is highly energy efficient is the goal of a new £12M international project involving Lancaster University researchers.

The TUDOR (Towards Ubiquitous 3D Open Resilient Network) project, which is funded by the UK Government and led by the University of Surrey, will research and develop technologies that could be used in a more open, flexible and scalable future mobile network beyond 5G and 6G.

The TUDOR team will also focus on how new technologies could be used to enhance telecommunications infrastructure as 5G matures as well as understand how emerging intellectual property could contribute to global standards and skills generation in the UK. Crucially, TUDOR will help design and promote a more diverse telecoms market.

Lancaster University researchers will be leading the development of new technologies to autonomously co-ordinate and manage networks created through TUDOR.

Nick Race, Professor of Networked Systems at Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications, is leading Lancaster’s involvement in TUDOR.

He said: “We are delighted to be part of the TUDOR consortium, building on our track-record of collaborative research with academic and industrial partners, tackling engineering and scientific challenges of national and global importance. We look forward to working with the consortium on this exciting programme of research to develop open, resilient and energy efficient 5G and future 6G networks. This collaboration is vital to ensuring the UK’s success as a prosperous, connected nation.”

Regius Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Director of the 5G/6G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, said: "I am confident that this project will help ensure that the UK's critical telecommunications infrastructure keeps up with the blistering pace of innovation that is happening across the globe and that the societal benefits of faster and more reliable communications are delivered in the most sustainable way possible."

The TUDOR consortium includes leading national and international organisations: AWS (Amazon Web Service), AWTG, BAE (BAE Systems), BT (British Telecom), Ericsson, ETSI, IDE (InterDigital Europe), Mavenir, Nokia, NPL (National Physical Laboratory) OW (OneWeb), SatApps (Satellite Application Catapult), Tactical Wireless, Toshiba, Viavi (Viavi Solutions), VMO2 (VirginMedia O2), Imperial College London, KCL King's College London, Lancaster University, Queen's University Belfast, Strathclyde University, University College London, University of Glasgow, AMD, Fujitsu, MTC, NetRail, and Qualcomm.

Maria Cuevas, Networks Research Director from BT, said: "We are very excited to participate in this Research collaboration, which involves great partners from different parts of the UK telecoms research and innovation ecosystem. We continue to proactively support the development of open solutions to telecoms networks and a gradual evolution forward from 5G technologies."

TUDOR is part of the UK government's strategy to reduce the UK's resilience on a small number of suppliers to build and maintain telecoms networks. TUDOR's £12m funding is part of a £28m pot shared across three collaborative projects, with the investment dedicated to bolstering the UK's status as a global leader in telecoms research and development.

Digital Secretary 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 huge investment will see top universities join forces with industry to build, test and roll out the nuts and bolts underpinning new networks while ensuring our plan for a more diverse and innovative telecoms market is sustained in the future.

"The funding will also turbocharge our work to strengthen telecoms supply chains, so we are no longer reliant on a handful of companies to develop and maintain our 5G networks."

Lancaster University researchers on TUDOR include Professor Nick Race and Dr Charalampos Rotsos.

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