The UK’s telecom market is one of the most open and competitive in the world. Targeted deregulation has set the industry free to create new services and set international trends. It has been characterised by fierce competition in the mobile and broadband sectors, and by an innovative broadcast sector which has pioneered new models for distributing digital content. The explosion of data has also presented significant technological challenges to both service providers and equipment manufacturers on how to continuously evolve the operators’ networks through development and convergence of technology to handle continuously rising volumes of voice, video and data traffic on unified network infrastructures. Faced with these challenges, which are largely consumer-driven, telecom companies (including mobile and landline operations, OEMs making the equipment for them and manufacturer of the mobile handsets) have all been increasing their R&D investment in the UK and looking ahead to research and implement emerging trends.

Examples of eligible R&D activities:

  • Creating new technologies to optimise the network bandwidth;
  • Developing next generation telecoms and IT network solutions to mobile and fixed line operators and providers of enterprise networks;
  • Replacing legacy telephony services with newer technology approaches (e.g., VoIP);
  • Developing equipment and software to provide customers with a seamless convergent telecommunications experience anytime, anywhere, through any terminal;
  • Appreciably improving security infrastructure that supports broader network services access;
  • Replatforming or consolidating technology behind multiple business lines;
  • Developing storage and retrieval techniques to solve transactional volumes.