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UK Telecoms Lab to be operated by NPL on behalf of the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT)

The new state-of-the-art UK Telecoms Lab based in Solihull will be the first of its kind in the UK.

2 minute read

With funding of £80 million from the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) and under NPL’s leadership, it will boost the security, resilience and performance of the UK’s telecommunication networks, on which we are all increasingly dependent.

This world leading national facility, located at the heart of the fast-growing Midlands technology hub will provide a test and evaluation capability at the highest point of reference. This will enhance confidence in the resilience and security of systems that have been - or are about to be - deployed in the UK.

Experts from NPL will provide testing and advice to venders, suppliers, and users, for example on network vulnerabilities to enable them to improve their systems before deployment or use, helping to keep the UK’s networks safe and secure.

Recruitment is currently underway, providing skilled local jobs in Solihull and the surrounding areas with analyst, developer and engineer roles all required to aid the fast deployment of mobile technology and ensure people can continue to have full confidence in the UK’s networks. Ultimately, the UK Telecoms Lab will identify national security risks and vulnerabilities and ensure vital equipment and software are protected against cyberattacks as well as ensure the UK has an infrastructure that can continue to support, encourage, and increase innovation and growth.

The UK Telecoms Lab will underpin the UK’s ambition to be a world-leader in the development of future communications technology and attract companies to conduct their research and development (R&D) in the UK. The UK Telecoms Lab will provide leadership in accelerating innovation and a path to export led growth, and act as a focus on inward investment. This will ensure that solutions work in the UK context and that operators have the confidence to deploy technology in UK networks.

As a National Laboratory and a Public Sector Research Establishment with cross-sector collaborative R&D experience, NPL has the breadth of scientific expertise required to deliver the UK Telecoms Lab for the UK. With over 120 years of history at NPL, including where Alan Turing worked on the ACE computer, the UK Telecoms Lab joins other NPL-led programmes of national activity to bring measurement science expertise to sectors of national importance, ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of scientific developments on the world-stage and aiding the drive to become a science superpower.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said, “We are determined to harness the power of ultrafast, seamless 5G connectivity to boost economic productivity and close the digital divide. With 6G on the horizon, our £80 million investment in this state-of-art lab will maximise the innovation, security and resilience of these revolutionary digital networks. It will help turn Solihull into a leading destination for telecoms R&D - unlocking jobs and growth right across the West Midlands.”

Dr Peter Thompson, CEO of NPL said, “I am delighted that NPL will be operating the UK Telecoms Lab on behalf of DSIT. This is the culmination of four years of engagement across government, academia and industry to understand the needs of the UK telecoms sector. Through the UK Telecoms Lab we will place the UK at the forefront of new technologies, injecting innovation, supporting invention and providing the platform for implementation to deliver impact from science for our national security and economic growth.”

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13 Dec 2022