Viavi Solutions and Consortia Win Funding in UK Open Networks Ecosystem Competition

Viavi Solutions announced today its participation in three winning consortia projects, securing funding through the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition sponsored by the UK Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT).
Viavi Solutions for 5GThe funding, amounting to £88 million, aims to propel the development and adoption of open and interoperable technology, specifically demonstrating Open RAN technologies in high-demand environments.

The projects in which VIAVI is a key participant are as follows:

HiPer-RAN (Highly Intelligent, Highly Performing RAN):
Location: 5G/6G Innovation Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
Funding amount: £7,895,362
Partners: University of Surrey, AWTG, Keysight technologies UK, Lime Microsystems, Viavi Solutions UK, Virgin Media O2, BT

Aims to develop a highly efficient, secure, and scalable Open RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) framework.

VIAVI Solutions will contribute by building a cyber security framework and targeting the development of a flexible, RIC-aware physical layer (PHY) for high-performance, energy-efficient, and low-latency operation.

REACH (RIC-Enabled (CF-)mMIMO for HDD):
Location: Blackpool, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire
Funding amount: £3,144,056
Partners: University of York, Cybermoor 5G Services Ltd, Quickline Communications Ltd, Viavi Solutions Ltd, Virgin Media O2 UK Ltd, SafeNetics Ltd, Blackpool Council

Focuses on addressing challenges in a High Demand Density (HDD) network featuring small-cell technology and massive MIMO applications.

VIAVI’s TeraVM RIC Test will support testing of xApps and rApps for mMIMO Apps, including traffic shaping, beam formation, and energy efficiency.

ARIANE (Accelerating RAN Intelligence Across Network Ecosystems):

Location: London.
Funding amount: £6,004,167.61
Partners: Telecom Infra Project, British Telecommunications plc, Accenture UK Limited, Amdocs UK Limited, Arqit UK Limited, HCL Technologies UK Limited, Reply UK Limited trading as Net Reply UK, Viavi Solutions UK Limited, VMWare UK Limited, Adtran (non-funded)

Aims to simulate a real-world multi-vendor Open RAN small-cell environment with multiple RICs and xApps/rApps.

VIAVI’s TeraVM RIC Test will support multiple RICs to test xApps and rApps for energy management, traffic steering, advanced traffic steering, and QoS-based dynamic resource allocation.

The ONE competition is part of the UK government’s Open Networks R&D Fund, designed to diversify the 5G telecoms supply chain and support various projects, including the Future RAN Competition (FRANC) and Future Open Networks Research Challenge.

U.K. Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, emphasized the importance of embracing a diverse and secure range of technology to ensure fast and reliable mobile connections across the country. VIAVI’s Senior Vice President, Ian Langley, expressed pride in being part of the DSIT ONE flagship program and highlighted VIAVI’s commitment to overcoming network challenges through innovation and collaboration.

The Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition is part of the government’s £250 million 5G Telecoms Supply Chain Diversification Strategy, fostering telecoms R&D projects including Future RAN Competition (FRANC), Future Open Networks Research Challenge, and entities like SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC Labs), UK Telecoms Innovation Network, and UK Telecoms Lab.

ONE launched on 14 March 2023, offering organisations funding to develop software and hardware products for enhanced open and interoperable technology, including funding for demonstrations of Open RAN technologies in high-demand density environments.

The UK government’s Open RAN Principles set out the characteristics that open-interface solutions, such as Open RAN, should possess in order to deliver on the UK’s 5G Supply Chain Diversification Strategy’s goals for resilient and secure networks with competitive and innovative supply chains. The UK government and UK mobile network operators have a joint ambition to carry 35 percent of the UK’s mobile network traffic over open and interoperable RAN architectures by 2030.