Secure 5G: accelerating 5G open radio access networks (Open RAN), for new telecoms networks to meet the UK’s future communications needs

Date: 06.04.2024

Topics: Future telecoms, RF & Microwave

Secure 5G

The opportunity

Technical breakthroughs  

Flexible platform for quantum-safe private networks.

5G Open-RAN (open radio access networks ) offer more open and accessible network architecture, which will improve the UK’s competitiveness, network flexibility and reduce costs. More network operators and enterprises are choosing Open RAN 5G networks as it avoids them being locked in to using large vendors who currently offer highly proprietary solutions. At the same time, this diversification of the UK supply chain enables the development of more innovative and integrated technologies. 

As these Open RAN mobile networks become more prevalent, larger and more complex, there is a need for solutions that are both more secure and are flexible to adapt to emerging threats with far greater agility. 

The aim is to reduce costs, while accelerating the pace of innovation, enabling faster roll-out of services and more secure communications via a UK sovereign supply chain. 

Our role

CSA Catapult led the collaboration between all the partners, and brought expertise, know-how and experience to the project. 

Secure 5G case study


The Secure 5G project built a flexible platform that enabled companies to roll out and maintain their own quantum-safe private networks, with targeted applications for Industry 4.0, mobile edge computing (MEC), the Internet of Things (IoT) and highly secure environments such as defence. 

Dr Ebrahim Bushehri, Lime Microsystems CEO, said: “With the frequency bands allocated for mobile private networks (MPNs) varying from country to country, we see a significant opportunity for software defined radios (SDR) and wideband PA technologies for frequency agile radio access networks, which is at the heart of Secure 5G. The use of general-purpose processor (GPP) plus commodity Linux O/S platform meanwhile has accelerated the integration of cutting-edge quantum-safe cryptography, providing an ideal solution for MPN deployments worldwide.” 

Dr Mike Roberts, Technical Director and co-founder of Slipstream Engineering Design, said: “Slipstream Design has been delighted to secure funding as part of this consortium to support our research and development activity in the telecommunications sector. As an SME, it was a major boost and allowed us to conduct highly innovative 5G product development with the backing of government. Power-efficient wideband operation is an area that constrains the flexibility of current telecommunications hardware. We aim to break through this technology barrier to enable wider network coverage in a more efficient and agile way.” 

Sarah Gregory, Commercial Director of Slipstream Engineering Design, said: “We have felt privileged to work alongside the other consortium members as well as DSIT in a truly collaborative project. The resulting wideband power amplifier technology developed by Slipstream Design has the potential to optimise radio unit hardware, reducing the need for variants in a way that speaks to the sustainability aims of the telecommunications sector.” 

David Williams, Arqit founder, Chairman and CEO said: “Arqit recently Co-authored the GSMA whitepaper on post quantum security and we are pleased to deploy our unique symmetric key agreement platform into this 5G project. Technology models for 5G and IoT are evolving rapidly but the edge cannot be secure without a new approach to encryption. Arqit delivers that.” 


Secure 5G Case Study

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