The University of Liverpool is leading a groundbreaking initiative to address the issue of poor digital connectivity in areas with high user demand, such as busy railway stations, football matches, and large concert venues. The Liverpool City Region High Demand Density (Liverpool City Region HDD) project will focus on demonstrating the benefits of Open RAN technology, an emerging telecommunications network architecture.
Open RAN technology is gaining global attention as a way to enhance connectivity infrastructure enabling low-cost, power-efficient, and unobtrusive small cells. These small cells can meet the demands of high-density areas, such as sports and music venues. The project has received £9 million in funding from the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology, and involves the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and a consortium of partners.
To test the effectiveness of Open RAN technology, the Liverpool City Region HDD project will initially conduct simulated tests before trialling it at five test bed sites across the region. These test sites include indoor and outdoor locations with a variety of uses. The project aims to determine whether the Open RAN network can provide secure and reliable connectivity to a high number of users in these high-demand environments.
The Liverpool City Region HDD project is led Professor Joe Spencer from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics. He expressed enthusiasm for the project’s potential to revolutionize digital connectivity. The project aims to showcase the capabilities of Open RAN technology and surpass the performance of current solutions.
The Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, commented on the project’s significance in advancing digital connectivity. He emphasized the region’s commitment to becoming the most digitally connected area in the country. Rotheram hopes this project, along with other digital initiatives, will lead to a future where everyone has access to reliable and fast internet connections.
The Liverpool City Region HDD project builds on the success of the Liverpool 5G consortium, which previously implemented the UK’s first 5G testbed project focusing on improving people’s health and wellbeing. The consortium consists of partners such as CGA Simulation, Liverpool John Moores University, Qualcomm, and Weaver Labs, among others.
This project is supported the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology’s investment of £9 million as part of the Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition. This competition aims to promote the feasibility and reliability of innovative technologies. Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale highlighted the importance of fast and reliable mobile connectivity, regardless of location. The government’s investment in the project aims to make mobile networks more adaptable and resilient while ensuring lightning-fast connections for years to come.
– University of Liverpool
– Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
– Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology