What does forming a telecoms coalition mean for the UK networking sector?

4 mins

What does forming a telecoms coalition mean for the UK networking sector? In October, t...

What does forming a telecoms coalition mean for the UK networking sector?

 In October, the government announced its intentions to join forces with four other powerhouse nations to form a telecoms coalition that will ‘strengthen coordination on telecoms security, resilience and innovation’.

 The Global Coalition on Telecommunications (GCOT) – comprised of the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan and the US – will be the standard bearer for global networking best practices, ensuring ‘communications networks can remain resilient and adaptable when confronted with challenges ranging from supply chain disruption to cyber attacks’. The idea is to double down on our ability to stay connected at a time when doing so is more critical than ever. With threats to our security increasing the world over and leading economies relying heavily on telecommunications networks, the UK government has bought into a synchronised approach across the five nations to harness ‘the power of telecommunications for the benefit of our nations and the world at large’ – as stated by Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan.

The announcement of the five nations joining forces has been met positively, with a spokesperson for the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) UK telling ITPro, a leading enterprise IT news website, that the coalition is ‘a step in the right direction for all countries involved.’ The telecoms sector is a prime target for cyber threats and the historic partnership reflects a commitment to ensuring the resilience and security of the networks that facilitate business – and life – as we have come to know it, safeguarding both critical infrastructure and sensitive user data.

Furthermore, a £70 million investment from the government’s research and innovation department, UKRI, will go towards developing infrastructure as it continually evolves to carry digitised data. The Future Telecoms Mission is the snappily named programme that will see this fund allocated to the technologies underpinning future networks, ensuring that the sector is developing the cutting-edge solutions that will enhance overall network performance.

 As the GCOT encourages investment in R&D, this will facilitate the exploration of emerging technologies such as 6G. The need for suitable experience and expertise in the field will, therefore, be paramount, with network engineers at the centre of these advancements, particularly focused on technologies that improve connectivity, including between space-based and terrestrial networks, data transfer speeds and the energy efficiency of our networks, whilst reducing latency. How best to balance network efficiency and sustainability is another conundrum for any network engineer worth his or her salt.

 The push for progress in these areas will be a positive driver of innovation across networking and it will be incumbent upon engineers to continually upskill. In the same vein, a commitment from providers like CISCO to offer relevant qualifications and certifications that provide training and keep the workforce up-to-date will be crucial to avoid stagnation in the market. Universities and businesses will similarly be challenged to ‘bring game-changing ideas to the market which could benefit the public by improving internet coverage everywhere, making universal rollout of self-driving cars possible, and using less energy in our growing digital world.’


If you’re interested in finding a new role in telecoms, get in touch with the team today.