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Cisco, JTOWER, MKI, and Airspan successfully conduct Open RAN trial

Cisco, JTOWER Inc., MITSUI KNOWLEDGE INDUSTRY CO., LTD., and Airspan Networks announced that the companies have deployed a local 5G Open RAN environment for in-building infrastructure sharing, accelerating the introduction of local 5G in Japan.

The deployment is built with Cisco Private 5G, JTOWER’s Local 5G in-building infrastructure sharing system, Airspan’s 5G vRAN (software and hardware) and MKI’s construction and testing acumen. The companies collaborated to promote local 5G infrastructure sharing in Japan, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions and power consumption without compromising connectivity.

This collaboration is a significant step forward for the industry as it showcases the interoperability between technology providers using Open RAN base stations to deploy local 5G. Together, the companies’ technology solutions will enable a new, innovative infrastructure sharing approach to help enterprises and local government entities to optimize costs when deploying local 5G systems with an emphasis on enabling sustainable in-building network management.

Currently, enterprises and local government entities must build their own networks, resulting in capital investment and operational deployment barriers.

“Network sharing provides a much more efficient solution for certain use cases. By introducing the concept of local 5G, the initiative will create new value-added services for businesses and local governments by reducing barrier to entry investments, speeding up service launch times and reducing the carbon footprint,”said Atsushi Takahashi, Director, Cloud and Service Provider Architecture, Japan at Cisco.

This innovative approach enables efficient network sharing in large-scale buildings, factories and underground spaces by using local 5G-compatible optical relay Distributed Antenna System (DAS). The DAS converts radio waves from base stations into digital signals and distributes them via optical cables. In addition, some facility networks can be shared by mobile carriers and multiple local 5G service providers, optimizing the investments required for real estate, power, and construction materials.

Cisco Private 5G is hybrid cloud-based and was built from the start to enable local 5G networks. It is available as-a-service for simple cost-optimized consumption and has neutral host multi-tenancy capability that accommodates multiple local 5G service providers, eliminating the requirement to build a new core network and shortening network construction times. JTOWER’s local 5G shared system enables efficient network sharing by using a local 5G-compatible optical relay DAS, reducing the capital investment required by eliminating the need for individual equipment procurement and installation work.

Airspan’s Open RAN design provides the Radio Unit (RU), Distributed Unit (DU), and Central Unit (CU) that make up a 5G base station in a single chassis. MKI is responsible for the construction and testing of the end-to-end 5G wireless environments.

Based on the success of the trial, the companies will promote infrastructure sharing of local 5G facilities that creates new connectivity opportunities for businesses and government entities by reducing cost barriers, speeding up service launch times and improving the sustainability of local 5G.

“We’re excited about the collaboration and the potential to accelerate the introduction of local 5G in Japan. Collaborative partnerships are at the heart of everything that we do at Cisco and this trial signifies the power of Cisco and our trusted partners closely collaborating to enable network sharing and sustainable operations that will power an inclusive future for all,” said Atsushi Takahashi, Director, Cloud and Service Provider Architecture, Japan at Cisco.

“We are very honored to be working with Cisco, Airspan, and MKI, all of whom have proven track records in their respective fields. We will contribute to the development of the local 5G market in Japan through collaboration among the four companies, leveraging our experience in infrastructure sharing,” said Isao Ohashi, Executive Officer, Vice head of Smartcity Planning Division and Head of External & Government Affairs at JTOWER.

”We are delighted to establish this collaborative relationship with JTOWER, Cisco, and Airspan through this initiative,” said Shinji Kawashima, Executive Officer at MITSUI KNOWLEDGE INDUSTRY. “By leveraging our wireless technology, we will work together through the collaboration to strongly promote infrastructure sharing of local 5G facilities leading to the adoption of sustainable local 5G.”

“Indoor 5G coverage is critical to enable innovative use cases. This great team of companies has achieved a solution that brings reliability, scalability and cost efficiency by using a smart infrastructure sharing of local 5G. This infrastructure is an enabler for new services in private and public Networks,” said Henrik Smith-Petersen, CSMO at Airspan.

CT Bureau

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