Plexal, the innovation company established by Delancey, is working with the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) to support the diversification of the UK’s telecoms market and stimulate the creation of products and services from SMEs and startups.
The announcement was made by Minister of State at DCMS Julia Lopez at techUK’s Our Network Future event yesterday. Through its LORCA programme, Plexal has worked with leaders from the telecoms market to assess where there could be opportunities for SMEs to provide products or services.
Plexal has now identified SMEs that will take part in a 12-week sprint aimed at developing robust business cases, technology roadmaps and investment plans. The aim is to create a diverse commercial ecosystem for private 5G networks that enables large and small vendors to play a role.
THE SMEs WILL WORK WITH PLEXAL AND THE GOVERNMENT TO DEVELOP OPPORTUNITIES AND TO OVERCOME ANY BARRIERS THAT EXIST IN PLAYING AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THE TELECOMS INDUSTRY.
The SMEs will work with Plexal, the government and industry to carve out and develop opportunities and overcome any barriers that exist for startups to play an active role in the telecoms market. These barriers could include making sure the products are interoperable and have robust cybersecurity built in.
Plexal is looking at current and future 5G private networks in two categories:
- Fully private, where the value outcome remains isolated from the public
- Private today, but will need to integrate to the public network to realise all the benefits
The sprint will support the UK government’s aim of developing a domestic capability for 5G and making sure the telecoms market includes a diverse range of vendors – including a larger number of small and medium-sized companies.
Commenting on the innovation challenge, Andrew Roughan, managing director of Plexal, said:
“We think there’s a big opportunity to understand and develop the role of SMEs in the telecoms market. Our open collaboration model, which is bringing industry, the government and SMEs together in a pre-competitive environment, is a novel way to approach the challenge of how the UK creates a diverse telecoms market that supports the creation of homegrown, sovereign technology.”
Plexal is an innovation company that delivers programmes for both industry and government, including NCSC For Startups, Cyber Runway, LORCA and London RoadLab. Plexal also works with industry to solve their innovation challenges and partner with startups.