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Ericsson pledges ‘multi-million pound’ UK investment for 6G research

Ericsson is to invest tens of millions of pounds in the UK over the next 10 years by establishing a new research unit to focus on 6G connectivity (Ben Birchall/PA)
Ericsson is to invest tens of millions of pounds in the UK over the next 10 years by establishing a new research unit to focus on 6G connectivity (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ericsson is to invest tens of millions of pounds in the UK over the next 10 years by establishing a new research unit to focus on 6G connectivity.

The telecoms giant said the new program would see researchers employed alongside PhD students and other academics to look into next generation 6G technology and its possible uses.

An exact figure for the investment has not been confirmed by Ericsson but the company said 6G is expected to become available in the 2030s.

5G only began rolling out in the UK in 2019, but experts already predict that 6G could be used to power virtual reality platforms like the metaverse and more autonomous infrastructure systems.

The Government has welcomed Ericsson’s announcement, with Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan saying it was a “huge vote of confidence in the UK’s innovative telecoms sector”.

“This pioneering research unit will create new jobs, support students and bring together some of our country’s finest minds to shape the future of telecoms infrastructure in the UK and across the globe,” she said.

“Our mission is to lead the world in developing next-generation network tech, and we will soon publish a strategy outlining how we harness 6G to deliver more for people and business.”

Ericsson UK chief executive Katherine Ainley said: “Ericsson has been connecting the UK for more than 120 years and this new investment underlines our ongoing commitment to ensure the country remains a global leader in the technologies and industries of the future.

“Our vision for a more connected, safer and sustainable world is one that is shared by the UK Government, and we look forward to working together with network operators, industries and academia to develop international standards that will move us ever closer to achieving seamless global connectivity and truly groundbreaking innovation.”