Leading the telecoms technology revolution

Early scoping work on future telecom networks led to the Catapult submitting evidence to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee on 'UK telecoms infrastructure and UK's domestic capability' in May 2020. 

The Catapult’s pioneering work was recognised in Parliament by the Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Rt Hon Matt Warman, and Shadow Minister, Chi Onwurah, and the Catapult was called to give evidence to Parliament on telecom diversification.

The Catapult's expertise was further recognised when it was called to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on the National Security and Investment Bill. This bill aims to bring the UK in line with other major economies by restricting the transfer of 17 technologies of strategic national importance, which include advanced materials; artificial intelligence; communications; computing hardware; cryptographic authentication; data infrastructure; quantum technologies and satellite and space technologies.

In support of this work, the Catapult is developing supply chain consortia, preparing the ground for UK companies to deploy a larger proportion of future telecoms infrastructure both domestically and for export.

  • Building a resilient GaN supply chain

    The Catapult is building resilient supply chains for GaN, the essential compound semiconductor for 5G, wireless networks and satellite communications. Supported by Welsh Government, a £10m project called GaNforCS (gallium nitride for connectivity and security) involved 12 partners, leading to a commercial GaN process at Newport Wafer Fab with significant export and potential sovereign supplies for the UK defence industry. 



  • The support of the CSA Catapult is critical to enabling the translation of our cutting-edge research outputs into tangible commercial offerings. We are currently working together on a project to commercialise a new GaN on SiC process to run out of the Newport Wafer fab at the heart of the CS Connected cluster. This will create a sovereign UK capability able to scale to mass production to support UK defence and high-volume customers focussed on future communications. The Catapult’s ability to work across the entire supply chain and bring in end users has been critical to the successful formation of the consortium and progress of the project to date.

    Professor Paul Tasker

    Cardiff University

Trialling future technologies

Our open access base station system puts the Catapult at the heart of OpenRAN developments, ready to exploit a rapidly emerging market of global proportions. Using the GaN process developed in SMARTExpertise, we will explore GaN transceiver designs and evaluate their performance when integrated within the base station.