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.
The FNDC is an environment where start-ups, SMEs and industry from around the world can develop products and services in a rapidly developing terrestrial and satellite environment.
The Centre has been designed to enable innovative product prototyping in realistic, comprehensive environments, offering interoperability between new prototypes and current products with a range of 4G and 5G network deployments.
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.
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!
Westcott has a strong heritage in the space and aerospace industry, providing rocket engine test facilities for over 70 years. It has a long-established health and safety regulatory environment to support rocket test functions, which makes it ideal for testing other safety critical systems such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other autonomous ground vehicles.
There is a growing innovation community on site, stimulated by the investment in new rocket testing facilities by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency, the establishment of a Business Incubation Centre and Innovation Centre, and the National Space Propulsion Test Facility on site. These will stimulate new hi-tech businesses and jobs focused on novel propulsion systems for space and the development of UAVs to complement satellite infrastructure in fields such as health and agri-tech.
Our Capabilities and Facilities
We’ve got a range of facilities and services available to use, including lab space, cloud computing, 4G and 5G cores, mobile edge computing, and a satellite ground segment.
News and Events
Read our latest news and check out the upcoming events we think you’ll find of interest.
Why use 5G?
Are you unsure as to whether 5G is the right option for your solution? 5G offers a range of advanced capabilities, including ultra-HD video and speeds up to 200x faster than 4G, which can be applied across many sectors.
We’ve developed the UK’s first private standalone 5G network, available to test here at the FNDC!
The wireless access to 5G is lightning fast – 200x faster than the 4G speeds!
At the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea – 5G was used to run shuttle buses with no human drivers at the wheel. It also provided virtual-reality viewing stations and super-fast video streaming
The FNDC encompasses a comprehensive, highly customizable and re-configurable network environment, based on commercially available components and dedicated toolkits.