UK joins leading nations to strengthen telecoms security and innovation

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The UK has teamed up with key global players – including Australia, Canada, Japan, and the US – to enhance telecom security, resilience, and innovation.

The initiative, named the Global Coalition on Telecommunications, was officially launched today. The collaboration aims to safeguard critical communications networks in the face of challenges such as supply chain disruptions and cyberattacks.

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, said:

“This historic partnership reflects our shared commitment to harnessing the power of telecommunications for the benefit of our nations and the world at large.

Telecommunications networks are the lifeline of global economies, and safeguarding their resilience and security in an evolving, interconnected world is a top priority for our governments. 

By joining forces, the UK and our partners are well-positioned to take the lead in broadening supply chains, nurturing industry knowledge, and bolstering security to address emerging challenges.”

Telecommunications networks play a pivotal role in the UK economy, making their security and resilience imperative. The newly formed coalition aims to ensure these networks remain robust and adaptable, enabling seamless connectivity even during critical times.

By collaborating with major economies, the UK hopes to diversify global telecoms supply chains, develop industry expertise, and strengthen security against potential risks. The coalition will foster closer coordination in areas such as research and development, information sharing, and international outreach.

Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator, commented:

“The critical telecommunications issues of today are global in scope. This groundbreaking coalition will help the US and our partners respond decisively to cross-border opportunities and challenges.

By working ever more closely together, the coalition members will advance secure, diverse, resilient, and innovative telecommunications networks around the world.” 

By promoting growth opportunities for the industry and facilitating dialogue between policymakers, businesses, and academia, the coalition aims to advance shared goals. This collaborative effort reflects a shared commitment to harnessing the power of telecommunications to benefit nations and the global community.

To underscore its dedication to this vital agenda, the UK Government is investing an initial £70 million in the Future Telecoms Technology Missions Fund (TMF) Programme. This funding will drive research in the next generation of telecommunications technology, positioning the UK as a leader in 6G technology and beyond.

The UK Government says the investment will support projects that improve internet coverage, enable the universal rollout of self-driving cars, and enhance energy efficiency in the digital world.

Dr Kedar Pandya, Executive Director of Cross-Council Programmes at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said: 

“This £70 million investment will, via the Future Telecoms UKRI Technology Missions Fund (TMF) Programme, form part of the UK’s contribution to international cooperation in this field and provide tangible benefits to the population and economy. 

The UKRI Technology Missions funding is designed to exploit the UK’s global leadership in transformative technologies to help solve specific problems, while also helping to lay the foundations for a longer-term leading position. 

In addition, UKRI is investing £250 million through the UKRI Technology Missions Fund to enable new and existing capabilities and capacity in artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and engineering biology in the years 2023-2025 and beyond.”

University-led Future Telecoms Research Hubs will play a crucial role in shaping the future of 6G technologies through early-stage research. Additionally, UKRI will fund application-focused challenges to accelerate market-ready solutions and foster collaboration within the UK’s telecoms sector.

International cooperation – facilitated by the Global Coalition on Telecommunications – will help to ensure that UK-led initiatives influence global telecom technologies, uphold core values, and safeguard security interests.

(Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash)

See also: Ericsson: 20% of 5G users willing to pay extra for enhanced connectivity

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