UK government bets on Sonic the edge-hog

The ever-generous British taxpayer has chucked a million quid at a new initiative called Sonic Labs, which is designed to give 5G OpenRAN R&D an extra boost.

Yes, it was a somewhat forced headline, but it had to be done and is no more forced than their acronym, which we’re not going to dignify with capitals. Having said that, there’s bound to be some edge stuff going on so back off, OK?

A million pounds is a drop in the ocean compared to what the telecoms industry will spend on OpenRAN research and development, but it gives politicians the opportunity to hang on to their coat-tails and get brownie points from the US for following the approved kit strategy.

“I’m thrilled that Sonic Labs is opening its doors to the wealth of telecoms expertise we have in this country to explore new ways of building 5G networks,” said Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman. “Our investment is a crucial element of our strategy to tackle the world’s over-reliance on a small number of telecoms vendors by growing our own cutting-edge solutions at home.”

Our strategy, yeah right. It has been aligned with the Digital Catapult, which calls itself ‘the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre’. It seems to be some kind of incubator and it’s not clear how much of its funding comes from the state but, judging by this move, probably most of it.

“In Sonic Labs we are experimenting to make interoperability a reality,” said Digital Catapult CTO Joe Butler. “This effort supports our mission to drive UK capability in advanced digital technology and we are grateful to Ofcom for working with us in this partnership and to DCMS for the opportunity to leverage the 5G testbeds we have developed in this effort.”

“Sonic Labs is an exciting project that gives us the opportunity to explore how new telecoms technology could operate in the UK market,” said Ofcom Chief Exec Dame Melanie Dawes “It’s all about bringing innovation to our communications networks – helping to support fast, secure and reliable connections for the future. A number of companies are already getting involved and we look forward to more joining too.”

Sonic labs is based in London and Brighton. Since the south east is by far the most affluent part of the country the government missed an opportunity to spread the wealth there, but maybe they got some northern people to shoot these vids instead.

  • Private Networks in a 5G World

  • 5G Networking Digital Symposium

  • LIVE: Getting the Best out of 5G

  • 5G Ecosystem Digital Symposium

  • 2020 Vision Executive Summit

  • TechXLR8

  • BIG 5G Event

  • 5G World

  • 5G Latin America

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