Biden-Harris Administration Announces $420 Million of Public Wireless Supply Chain Funding Available After Round 1 Awards of over $140 Million

The Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, with a $1.5 billion appropriation, aims to advance Open RAN and secure 5G+ technologies.

Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund: $1.5 Billion for Open RAN Advancements

$1.5 billion has been appropriated for the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The fund was established to advance Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) to tackle market challenges in the network marketspace. The fund will: 

  • Promote 5G+ technologies that are secure, open, and virtualized. 
  • Advance the deployment of open and interoperable equipment. 
  • Support the integration of networks with multiple brands of equipment. 
  • Identify criteria to decide if equipment follows open standards. 

First NOFO: $140.4 Million in Awards for 17 Projects

Of the $1.5 billion appropriated, $140.4 million was obligated through awards in the first Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to fund 17 projects. The administration received 125 applications, so only 14 percent were awarded. The average award size was $8.3 million. 

Second NOFO Announcement: $420 Million Allocated for New Projects

The second NOFO was announced on May 7, 2024; it allocates $420 million of the appropriated funding to this round of awards. These awards will focus on the following two Specific Research Focus Areas (SFRA): 

  • SFRA 1 – Open Radio Unit (RU) Commercialization: Projects funded under SRFA 1 will focus on accelerating the development of open RU products to the point where they meet carrier needs and are ready for commercial trials. Awards will range from $25 million to $45 million and last from 18 to 24 months. 
  • SFRA 2 – Open Radio Unit (RU) Innovation: Projects funded under SRFA 2 will focus on improving the overall performance and capabilities of open RUs through targeted research and development. Awards will range from $5 million to $10 million and last from 3 to 5 years. 

Cost Sharing Requirements and Benefits

Only SFRA 1 applicants are required to cost share at least 10 percent; a cost share of 16 percent or more will receive a favorable weighting during Programmatic Review. 

Application Guidelines and Deadlines for the Second NOFO

The application has a limit of 70 pages across five narrative volumes. Full applications are due on July 10, 2024. More information about the second NOFO can be found here. 

Contact Us for More Information and Support

If you would like to receive a copy of our memo on the second NOFO or discuss how we could support your application, please Contact Us Here. 

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