The new 5G Innovation Lab will be situated in Slough and is set to focus on open RAN and various 5G use cases

Airspan Networks has become the latest company to announce the launch of a 5G-focussed research laboratory in the UK.

Opening in Slough, the 5G Innovation Lab is set to promote innovation and collaboration with various partners and customers, primarily focussing on the development and adoption of Open RAN technology. 

The lab will provide Airspan’s partners with a facility to test various Open RAN solutions, as well as sub-6 GHz mmWave indoor/outdoor technology, and private network 5G use cases.

The company said it would be expanding its UK employee presence, significantly increasing the number of its UK-based software engineers.  

“We are excited to continue to invest to drive innovation in the UK and globally by working together with partners and customers, in innovation labs like this one,” said Eric Stonestrom, President and CEO of Airspan. “Through critical collaboration and testing in these labs, which we believe will help accelerate the development of Open RAN and 5G solutions and open architecture, we believe Airspan will continue to be at the forefront of innovation and industry disruption.”

The UK’s appetite for Open RAN technology appears to be growing, with Airspan being the latest of a number of companies to launch 5G-focussed labs in the UK. Both Vodafone and Mavenir last month announced that they were opening Open RAN testing facilities near Swindon, 

Vodafone itself has already committed itself to replacing some of its outgoing Huawei network equipment with Open RAN alternatives, around 2,500 sites.


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