BAI, Mavenir provide 5G smarts for city in U.K.

BAI Communications (BAI) is preparing to launch a smart city project for Sunderland, a town in the north of England (U.K.), powered by Mavenir’s MAVedge solution.

BAI will build a new 5G-centric network to accelerate adoption of digital services aimed at sectors such as manufacturing and logistics, education and social welfare.

The initial scope is for the deployment of a city center 5G private network, but according to a press release, the network has the potential to evolve into a neutral host network.

BAI has been an advocate for neutral host systems, saying it’s a model that can provide coverage and connectivity for smart city initiatives, enabling local authorities to provide smart services and run numerous smart community applications.

MAVedge includes Mavenir’s open vRAN and 5G Packet Core solutions, providing advanced 5G mobile connectivity to the local Sunderland community.

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The open RAN platform gives BAI the option of deploying radio units from different vendors. The solution uses software running on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware.

Here are some of the sectors that the new network will address:

  • Smart homes: addressing health and social care requirements supporting vulnerable individuals living in their own homes, providing access to assistive technologies such as sensors and other IoT enabled devices.
  • Digital skills and education: providing enhanced online and remote connectivity and distance learning across primary schools and secondary schools within the local authority.
  • Manufacturing and Industry 4.0: improving supply chain agility for the automotive industry, including applications such as self-driving vehicles and autonomous heavy goods vehicles.

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“Open RAN is a cost-effective solution which is based on open interfaces and will give us the ability to deploy in a very agile and flexible way,” said Brendan O’Reilly, group chief technology officer at BAI Communications, in a statement. “We are delighted to work with Mavenir, a technology innovator company in cloud-native virtualized solutions and a leading player in the Open RAN initiative and 5G Core.”