Future Networks Development Centre

An open and accessible test facility, offering satellite and terrestrial capabilities in a realistic, comprehensive environment.

future networks

What’s on offer?

The Westcott Future Network Development Centre (FNDC) is s a joint funded venture between the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (BLEP) and the Satellite Applications Catapult, focused on resilient communications. We are an open and accessible UK test centre for all ITU Primitives, providing total standardised COTS testing facilities. We also offer 5G test and development Ofcom licences from 700Mhz to 4200Mhz and satellite and terrestrial capabilities such as fully virtualized 5G core and state of the art O-RAN deployments.

The FNDC capabilities are available to hire for your technology development, or you can partner with us for support from our communications experts. Any new businesses working in 5G are also recommended to check out the Westcott Incubator and Accelerator programme (embedded link) – a new funding opportunity that will enable early-stage businesses, or small and medium enterprises, to explore and develop their innovations using the facilities and expert teams based at Westcott.

Learn more about 5G

Integrated 5G Ecosystem

In an integrated 5G ecosystem, satellite networks are providing a highly dependent and global coverage type of communication. Satellites are well positioned to target high data rate broadcast/multicast services, M2M narrowband services, congestion offload of terrestrial networks (ie. for signalling and/or video) as well as highly distributed and customised enterprise networks (ie. critical infrastructures, dedicated M2M, industrial communication).

A Unique Facility

The Westcott FNDC offers a unique facility to test and develop new services and products by accessing the latest wireless applications service equipment and satellite data without the need to invest in expensive infrastructure. This allows you to rapidly prototype and commission new services and applications under representative real-world conditions ahead of your market roll-out.

The Westcott FNDC is unique to the UK as it provides an open and accessible 5G test and development facility that provides convergent multi-access terrestrial and satellite radio network with international standards based network infrastructure. There are also five fully equipped and customisable state-of-the-art test labs, situated within 650 acres of secured open space – an ideal location to test new infrastructures without the risk of interference from existing systems.

Dr Ashweeni Beeharee, Head of Ubiquitous Connectivity

We provide customised functions as a basis for:

M2M and IoT connectivity
Narrowband and broadband multimedia for automotive
Reliability and high availability for mission critical infrastructures
Support for extended communication platforms - UAV, Helikite, BLIMPS, HAPS
Security and privacy for dedicated networks. (VPN, enterprise networks)
Use of satellite networks for backhauling, broadcast, content delivery

Our team

The Future Networks Development Centre is managed and run by the Satellite Applications Catapult’s Ubiquitous Connectivity team. This talented group of software, hardware, networks, and systems engineers are always on hand to support your set up, integration, testing, and product or service development within the Future Networks Centre.

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Rapid Development

The FNDC enables the rapid deployment of proof-of-concept as well as for resilience, security and reliability evaluations into the different network areas, addressing the highly diverse requirements coming from the different verticals of each domain.

The centre encompasses a comprehensive, highly customisable, and re-configurable network environment, based on commercially available components and dedicated toolkits.

A Secure Environment

Westcott provides a secure, controlled environment within 650 acres of open space available within the estate. The site is situated in a rural area with poor terrestrial coverage, allowing for testing of new infrastructure without the risk of causing interference to existing systems.

The location also offers a significant variety of local geographical features that can be used to validate novel concepts of operation and operational technology. We offer the ideal location for combining autonomous systems, such as drones, with 5G as you can fly and test connections here!


Future Networks Development Centre News

Event Westcott BIC graphic 1920
28 July - 10am to 28 July - 1pm

Westcott Expo: Space for the Future

We would like to invite you to join us as we celebrate the success of the Westcott Space Cluster over the last three years and share the ...
June 2nd, 2021

BRAIL Project Update

The Backhaul and Radio Access Integrating LEO (BRAIL) project is a Catapult led initiative exploring cutting edge hybrid backhaul co...
May 15th, 2020

sAFE Project

Since June 2018 it has been mandatory in Europe for all new types of cars and light commercial vehicles to be fitted with eCall technolog...