Digital Catapult
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Future Networks

Accelerating the use of LPWAN and early exploration of 5G technologies

Through the future networks programme, startups and scaleups can leverage the power and potential of connective technologies including 5G and low power wide area networks.
Dritan Kaleshi

Lead Technologist (Future Networks, 5G Fellow), Digital Catapult

As the quantity and significance of digital data increases at an exponential rate, UK industry needs secure, efficient, sustainable and resilient networks to be able to transport and deliver it.

Future networks will provide more advanced, highly configurable connectivity that will be faster, cheaper, more reliable, secure and flexible, whilst using less energy. They will be the foundation for new business models, applications, experiences, products and services.

The impact of 5G, a key future network technology, is not confined to the telecommunications industry, its successful roll out is expected to grow the wider UK economy. If its potential can be realised, 5G could add £173bn of incremental GDP between 2020 to 2030.

IoT is about connecting physical devices such as sensors, vehicles, home appliances, manufacturing systems and building infrastructure in the physical world to that of the digital so that we can track, monitor and manage them remotely and more efficiently. Many IoT solutions will need connect over large distances and use very little power, perhaps running off tiny batteries for years and thus they will need to connect over low power area networks to make them viable.

How we support the development and adoption of future networks

Digital Catapult delivers across two streams within future networks. We are enabling the early exploration of 5G to ensure the UK’s international competitiveness and accelerating the use of LPWAN, to help UK IoT companies compete in the global market.

We are doing this in two ways:

  • Creating and operating networks and giving access to hardware and services, including large scale 5G sector-specific testbeds and our large scale LPWAN network, ‘Things Connected’, that support the development, testing and commercialisation of ideas.
  • Challenge-led innovation programmes that bring together researchers and small innovative companies with larger corporations with real world industry challenges.

Business partners

What we’re doing